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Creative Learning Series 


Play Activities for 
Child Development 


A guide to preschool teachers 



Mina Swaminathan and Prema Daniel 



NATIONAL BOOK TRUST, INDIA 


Illustration and layout: Mallika Badrinath 


ISBN 81-237-4220-7 

First Editon 2004 ( Saka 1926) 

© Mina Swaminathan & Prema Daniel 
Rs 130.00 

Published by the Director, National Book Trust, India 
A-5, Green Park, New Delhi 110 016 



Preface 


xi 


I INTRODUCTION 


II PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT 11 

Introduction 

1 . Taking Big Steps 1 4 

2. Walk like Animals 15 

3. Rope Walk 16 

4. Rope Train 17 

5. Walk Along the Shape 18 

6. In and Out 19 

7. Balancing Board 20 

8. Catch Me if You Can 21 

9. Races 22 

10. Curving Race 23 

1 1 . Throw a Ball 24 

12. Roll a Ball 25 

13. Bounce the Ball 26 

14. Kick the Ball 27 

15. Do it Differently 28 

16. Old Tyres 29 

17. Musical Chairs 30 

18. The Dog and the Bone 31 

1 9. Musical Islands 32 

20. Is the Lamb at Home? 33 

ID SENSORY AND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT 34 

Introduction 

1 . I Hear a Sound 36 

2. Loud and Soft 37 

3. Body Sounds 38 

4. Sounds of Objects 39 

5. Guess My Smell 40 

6. Guess My Taste 41 

7. Soft and Hard 42 

8. Touch Cards 43 

9. Count Without Looking 44 

10. Blindfold Walk 45 

1 1 . Stuffed Animals 46 



VI 


Play Activities for Child Development 




12. Tear it Up 

47 

13. Nature Walk - Listen, See, Feel 

48 

14. Rangoli 

49 

15. Finger Painting 

50 

16. Clay 

51 

17. Sand 

52 

18. Water 

53 

19. Make a Necklace 

54 

20. The Five Senses 

55 

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT 
Introduction 

56 

1 . Sorting by Size 

59 

2. Guess What ? 

60 

3. Bingo 

61 

4. Match the Domino 

62 

5. The Right Partner 

63 

6. Match and Mismatch 

64 

7. Missing Pictures 

65 

8. Which is Faster? 

66 

9. Mystery Game 

67 

10. Arrange in a Line 

68 

11. Shadow Play 

69 

12. Collect, Bring and Arrange 

70 

13. Things to Do with Trees 

71 

14. Floating and Sinking 

72 

15. Filling the Bottles 

73 

16. Jig-Saw Puzzles 

74 

17. Complete a Person 

75 

18. Design 

76 

19. Conditions 

77 

20. Sensitive Puppet 

78 

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 
Introduction 

79 

1. Hot and Cold 

82 

2. Magic Bag 

83 

3. Who's There? 

84 

4. Show and Tell 

85 

5. Rhyming Words 

86 

6. Add a Word 

87 



Contents 


VII 


7. 

Listen to Me 

88 

8. 

Left and Right 

89 

9. 

Family Names 

90 

10. 

Do as I Do and Not as I Say 

91 

11. 

Who am I? 

92 

12. 

Detective Game 

93 

13. 

Riddles 

94 

14. 

Picture Reading 

95 

15. 

Story Telling 

96 

16. 

Let's Act a Story 

97 

17. 

What Happened Next? 

98 

18. 

Let's Take a Trip 

99 

19. 

Finger Play 

100 

20. 

I Can Do 

101 


VI SOCIAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 102 

Introduction 


1 . 

Copy Cat 

106 

2. 

Happy Hands 

107 

3. 

Say Hello 

108 

4. 

Drawing Race 

109 

5. 

Special Helper 

110 

6. 

Where's your Bone? 

111 

7. 

I'm Happy Book 

112 

8. 

Let's Share 

113 

9. 

Make your Face 

114 

10. 

I am Important 

115 

11. 

Roll a Ball 

116 

12. 

Clean Comer 

117 

13. 

Back to Back 

118 

14. 

Be Quick 

119 

15. 

Call your Friends 

120 

16. 

Zip Zap 

121 

17. 

Snakes and Ladders 

122 

18. 

Helping Others 

123 

19. 

Good Habits 

124 

20. 

The Leader 

125 


Vn EMOTIONAL AND AESTHETIC DEVELOPMENT 126 
Introduction 

1 . Statues 

2. Move in Rhythm 


130 

131 



VUI 


Play Activities for Child Development 


3. 

How Would You Feel? 

132 

4. 

Follow the Sound 

133 

5. 

What am I Doing? 

134 

6. 

Fast and Slow 

135 

7. 

Through the Maze 

136 

8. 

Fun with Crayons 

137 

9. 

Murals 

138 

10. 

Card Embroidery 

139 

11. 

Colour and Wax Resist 

140 

12. 

Wet Chalk Drawing 

141 

13. 

Collage 

142 

14. 

Hands and Legs 

143 

15. 

Painting With a Difference 

144 

16. 

Printing 

145 

17. 

Paper Folding (Origami) 

146 

18. 

Paper Flowers 

147 

19. 

Common Objects 

148 

20. 

Story with a Difference 

149 


VUI READINESS FOR THE 3 R'S 150 

Introduction 


1. 

Bank 

154 

2. 

Clapping Numbers 

155 

3. 

Counting Race 

156 

4. 

Act the Number 

157 

5. 

Where Shall I Stand? 

158 

6. 

Track Race 

159 

7. 

Sum Race 

160 

8. 

Read a Calendar 

161 

9. 

Measurement 

162 

10. 

Posting Shapes 

163 

11. 

Posting Letters 

164 

12. 

Who is Wrong ? 

165 

13. 

Help Me 

166 

14. 

Picture Word Matching 

167 

15. 

Classroom News 

168 

16. 

Read and Act 

169 

17. 

Flannel Board Shapes 

170 

18. 

Crosses 

171 

19. 

Draw on the Road 

172 

20. 

One to One 

173 



Contents 


IX 



DC MANAGING PLAY ACTIVITIES 174 

1. Organising Space 174 

2. Organising Equipment and Materials 175 

3. Organising Time 182 

4. Organising Activities 186 

X EVALUATION 192 

1. Assessing the Programme 192 

2. Assessing Children 192 

Appendix - MAKING TEACHING - LEARNING AIDS 196 

1. Masks 197 

2. Paper Folding 202 

3. Puppets 207 

4. Boards, Cards, Dice and Dominoes 212 


T his book has grown out of the manual Play Activities for 
Young Children originally developed by the first author in 
1983 and published by UNICEF in 1984. The manual was 
part of UNICEF's support for improving the quality of the 
preschool education component in ICDS, which, already about 
ten years old and massive in reach, was even then seen to be less 
than adequate in quality. Its dissemination was very wide: the 
first edition of 1,50,000 reaching anganwadi workers in the Hindi- 
speaking and - knowing areas of the study, and 7000 copies being 
used by trainers and supervisors. Later on, other Indian language 
editions (Tamil, Malayalam, and Oriya), of several thousands each, 
were prepared in various States, again with the support of 
UNICEF. The manual, which is now out of print, has thus been 
widely distributed and used, and the feedback from the field, 
mostly of an anecdotal kind, has been very positive. At any rate, 
the first author has found, in the course of her travels, that she is 
easily recognized as a friend, guide, and mentor, and warmly 
welcomed by anganwadi workers everywhere in India. And, from 
the early 1990s, UNICEF has been asking for a revised and 
improved version (though it has taken another decade to bring 
that intention to fulfillment). 

Since the manual was for free distribution directly by 
Government, it could not be made available to teachers and 
institutions in other sectors, nor could it be made freely obtainable 
as a priced publication on the open market. However, many 
workers in ECE in the non-governmental sector (that is, those 
teaching in private schools and in balwadis run by NGOs) who 
have seen it, have been highly appreciative and enthusiastic about 
using it. 

This is what gave us the idea of jointly developing a revised, 
enriched, and more systematic version of the original, and of trying 
to make it widely available as a priced publication, preferably 
low-cost, available on the open market to all teachers who are 
interested in learning more and improving their skills. With this 
in mind, we started work in 1998 and completed the first draft of 
the manuscript in its present form, with much encouragement 
from professional friends and well-wishers. But ironically, while 
professionals appreciate the pressing need for such a manual, the 
need does not seem to translate into market demand. It seems 



PREFACE 


Xll 


Play Activities for Child Development 


that the majority of private schools in India are not interested in 
play-based or developmentally-appropriate curriculum for young 
children, and prefer other approaches that we can only say we 
abhor as being contradictory to known principles of pedagogy 
and child development. This is because ECE in India, having 
been totally unrecognized till very recently, has been quite 
unregulated - there are no broadly accepted or laid-down 
guidelines, standards, or norms regarding what should be taught 
and, even more importantly, how it should be taught. The very 
few who are interested and supportive are obviously not enough 
to constitute a market, in terms that make sense to publishers. 
Hence, though the first draft of the present book was ready by 
early 1999, we spent more than three years trying to get leading 
educational publishers (in English) interested. Our efforts, ranging 
from outright rejection to varying levels of negotiation, ended in 
failure, but we also discovered that, had we succeeded, the price 
of the book would have made it prohibitive for those we were 
most interested in reaching. So we are immensely grateful to the 
National Book Trust for having the vision and daring to bring out 
a book that meets "needs" that do not generate "demand". Even 
more so, because we know that, in due course, many Indian 
language editions will be published and find their way to those 
who are interested and need them, if they learn to make 
themselves heard. 

The basic concept underlying this manual, which is addressed 
directly to the classroom teacher or childcare worker, is that of 
"developmental appropriateness." We have used the same idea 
in the Activity-based Developmentally-appropriate Curriculum for 
Young Children, also our joint venture, published by the Indian 
Association for Preschool Education, Chennai. Hence, we have 
chosen to go about it by briefly delineating the various domains 
of development and then presenting a set of activities that could 
help foster the child's development of concepts, skills, attitudes, 
and behaviours in those domains, This forms the core of the 
manual, which then goes on to deal with some of the organisational 
issues that teachers have to be concerned with. The plan of the 
book is reader-friendly: each major section deals with one domain 
of development, starting with a short theoretical introduction and 
followed by a set of activities. This makes it possible for the teacher 
to go straight to the activity of choice, making use of the theory as 


PREFACE 


Preface 


XIII 


and when required. The activities themselves are laid out in a 
uniform format, making it easy for the teacher, once familiar with 
the approach, not only to quickly find what is needed but also to 
understand it easily. The language is simple and direct, and the 
examples are chosen to stimulate the teacher to think of more 
activities; while the appendix contains carefully illustrated 
instructions for making teaching-learning aids, toys, and play 
materials. There is no special order in which the various domains 
-or the activities - have to be taken up, and the book can be dipped 
into and used flexibly. In fact, it is meant to be used like a resource 
and reference book, and not like a textbook to be read from one 
end to the other in a prescribed order. Hopefully, this would make 
it the classroom teacher's friend and companion. And, if it does, 
that would be our best reward. 

Working together on this book, with all its ups and downs, has 
been a most enjoyable and rewarding experience for both of us. 
One of our pleasant tasks is to express our deep debt of gratitude 
to all those who have encouraged, helped, and supported us in 
various ways: 

• UNICEF, for bringing out the earlier version of this book in 
1984 

• Bernard van Leer Foundation, for encouraging us to revise the 
book through a small seeding grant in 1998, as part of the 
project Operation Resource Support 

• Mini Krishnan, friend, guide and adviser, for timely advice, 
moral support, optimism, and faith in us even when things 
seemed at their most bleak 

• Usha Aroor, for suggesting the basic design and format of this 
version 

• Sheela Subramaniam, for her skilled and patient editing 

• Varsha Das, formerly Director of the National Book Trust, for 
her warm appreciation, and acceptance of the book for 
publication during her term 

• Sheela Pankaj, for constant support over the years in typing 
several drafts of the manuscript, handling all the details, and 
seeing us through to the end 

• A. Sakthi Velan, for help and support in typing the manuscript 

• Mallika Badrinath, our designer, for her creativity and 
perseverance in enriching the text with both meaning and 
visual delight 



PREFAC 


xiv 


Play Activities for Child Development 


• Our editors at NBT, Dr. Baldev Singh 'Baddan,' Chief Editor 
and Joint Director and Dr. Srirang K. Jha, Series in-charge, for 
the care, concern, and skill with which this book has been 
handled, and 

• Last, but not least, to all the professional friends and colleagues 
who, over the years and till today, have contributed to our 
learning through many shared experiences and meaningful 
discussions. 


Without each one of them, this book would never have been 
possible. 


MINA SWAMINATHAN 

Chennai 


PREMA DANIEL 

October 2003 



This book is based on the belief, supported by numerous studies 
in the last hundred years, that play is the medium by which 
children learn. So teachers / workers / caregivers in Early 
Childhood Education (ECE) Programmes must be familiar with 
play activities and its various dimensions, in order to reach / teach 
children. 

What is play? 

We have all observed children at play, yet it is difficult to define 
play. A four month old infant kicking his/her legs or throwing up 
his/her arms, looking at a dancing doll and squealing with joy is 
quite a familiar sight. A baby of 18 months may sit beside his/her 
mother banging two plates and vessels together, once in a while 
beating them with the ladle. A group of four to five year olds may 
place some leaves and flowers in a row and act as though it were 
a feast. All these are instances of play. Almost all self-initiated 
activities of children are instances of play in their natural context. 

natural to children 

attractive * enjoyable 

\ T / 

participatory ^ — PLAY ► rewarding 

i 

related to activities which promote 
intellectual skills 

Play is a serious business for children, and children actively 
participate in constructing their environment. A learning 
environment, which allows the maximum opportunities for play, 
is therefore best suited for children's growth and development. 
During play, it will be seen that children 

• are involved in what they are doing; 

• almost always initiate the activity on their own; 

• experience intrinsic joy; 

• express curiosity and show the urge to explore. 


2 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Learning and 
play seem to 
be two facets 
of the same 
reality 


But for children, the learning outcome is not the reason why they 
play. 

Play also fosters 

• mastery of body control 

• exploration and novelty 

• creativity; 

• social training 

• emotional balance 

• language skills 

The objectives of early childhood education, then are very similar 
to these attributes of play. Learning and play seem to be two 
facets of the same reality. 


Why play is important 


Young children's growth and development has a pattern and 
sequence which is related to age. Children progress in several 
areas such as in physical growth, capacity for language, 
comprehension or in skills of interaction. Children need to move 
in order to master body control; they need to explore, manipulate 
objects and repeat actions to exercise their mental, social and 
manual skills, with enough opportunities to handle materials, 
experience the world around them, and perform tasks of increasing 
complexity. Children get nourishment for their growth needs 
through play. 



In the formative years between birth to the age of six, children 
must be in an environment that enhances their major domains of 
growth physical, motor, comprehension and communication 
skills. Their environment must give them enough impetus and 
challenge. This is done by providing them adequate experiences 
with objects, and in interactions, and by enabling them to indulge 
in activities which appeal to their basic playful nature. 

Modem thinking on education affirms that the goal of teaching- 
learning process is to teach children "how to learn", that is, to 
explore, discover and practise thinking skills, and process 
information so as to understand the world around. This cannot 
be "taught" it has to be learnt. 



Introduction 


3 


Teachers hence must know 

• the needs, abilities and interests of children in relation to age 

• the patterns of interaction and activities that will foster 
development in all domains and 

• the diverse social and cultural practices, concerns and values 
that influence children's development. 

Domains of development 

The child's development can be thought of in different domains 
(or aspects) These are all intimately interrelated and 
interdependent and interact with each other, so it may be often 
difficult to separate them. Yet it is important to do so, lest any 
domain is neglected and curriculum can be planned to attend 
to all domains and achieve holistic development. The two 
diagrams below divide development in different ways. 
Alternative A shows eight domains and Alternative B shows 
six. The latter has been used in this book 

Alternative A 




Alternative B 





4 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Cfwe«#i 
r cWWa 
chance to 
oartidpateln 
■ a wide 
p variety©? 
play-based 
activities. 


Play-based activities for development 

Development in each domain can be fostered by giving each child 
a chance to participate in a wide variety of play-based activities. 
These activities allow the child to engage actively in the process, 
to learn, practice and master skills at each level, to test and evaluate, 
and to develop self-confidence and motivation to achieve. 

The chart opposite suggests activities to promote development 
in each domain. 


While several activities have been suggested for each domain, it 
must be emphasized that every activity addresses several domains. 
For convenience, each activity has been shown only once, but 
would have an impact in other domains too. 


For example, in a drawing activity, the children are not only 
perfecting a small motor skill they are also learning to: 


• share (social and emotional skills) 


• follow directions (listening or language skills) 

• copy a visual pattern (visual or sensory skills) 

• visualise the object (cognitive and imaginative skills) 

Again, sand play leads to social, cognitive, sensory and language 
development. Therefore one should view each and every activity 
in terms of its potential to speed up the development of the whole 
child. 


In general, the activities for each area should move from easy to 
more demanding. For example, for small motor learning, 
arranging shells or stones on diagrams drawn on the floor could 
be done before the children use paper, crayons and pencils. 



Ideally, two or three activities from each of the domains should 
be presented every week. The activities need not be followed in 
the same order as given. They can be graded and arranged to 
suit varying needs. 

Knowing the child 

It is imperative for parents and teachers to understand children's 
needs, abilities and interests at every age and stage of development 
by observing their behaviour. 



Introduction 


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SUGGESTED 

PLAY-BASED ACTIVITIES 


6 


Play Activities for Child Development 



They need to 
shout and run 
about and be 
active 


The three-year old 

Do you know that a three-year old is very self-centred? At this 
age, children think largely of themselves and their own needs. 
They do not yet realise that others are just like them, with thoughts 
and feelings like their own. They stiU have insufficient muscular 
control, especially over finger movements. They enjoy playing 
by themselves, and do not know how to join in group play, because 
they cannot yet cooperate. Above all, they do not like to share 
toys, and may cry if they are taken away. If they are leaving their 
mothers for the first time, they may cling to the teacher. They like 
to watch and to follow. They are curious and eager to learn, but 
with limited speed, and they tire easily. Three-year olds love 
repetition. 

Therefore games for the three-year old should be short, simple 
and amusing. They should encourage the use of the hands and 
fingers so that the child learns muscular control. Singing .games 
with lots of repetition are great favourites at this age. Circle games 
where everyone has to act together are also popular. Games where 
children have to wait a long time for their turns should not be 
chosen as they are impatient. They need to shout and run about 
and be active. Teams and group games which need either 
cooperation or competition should be avoided. Games with too 
many actions and too varied, or which require the child to listen 
and follow instructions carefully are not appreciated at this age. 


The four-year old 



At the age of four, children have much better control over 
themselves and their bodies and can use their hands constructively. 
They have a wider vocabulary and can express their ideas, though 
not always lucidly. They enjoy playing with other children and 
joining in group activities and games. They love to help and are 
learning to cooperate, but do not understand competition. They 
are also beginning to be disciplined, can wait for their turn and 
follow instructions. They are excited by new experiences and are 
eager to explore and engage in new activities. They are vigorous, 
active and bursting with energy and sometimes even aggressive! 
Four-year olds cannot sit still for long. 

Therefore games for the four-year old require action and 
movement, but now and then, they also need games with a quiet 


Introduction 


7 


tempo. The child still enjoys singing and rhyming games, but 
now these can be group or team games with each team playing 
alternatively, though not competing. Now the songs and rhymes 
can have directions, which require the child to watch, listen and 
imitate. As the four-year old is a little more disciplined, games 
that are played turn by turn can be introduced. The child learns 
good conduct through these activities. 

The five-year old 

At the age of five, children are quite independent. They have good 
control over their muscles and are capable of many exercises. 
They are self-reliant, enjoy playing with others, can cooperate and 
share, can sit and wait for their turn. 

They love to help and to be given duties. They can remember 
what they are told and can take responsibility in small measures. 
They can even sit still for short periods and be silent, but not for 
long. This enables them to listen to instructions and follow 
directions. They are eager to go to school and to learn to read and 
write. They enjoy being the leader and taking initiative in new 
ventures. They can understand rules and follow them, and can 
express themselves in their mother tongue. 

Therefore games for the five-year old should be such as to develop 
all these positive qualities fully and prepare the child for the next 
stage of development. Introduce team and group games, which 
require cooperation and sometimes competition. Language games 
where children have to express themselves in words and listen to 
and follow instructions, and memory games, which require them 
to remember certain rules are favourites at this age. Let the children 
learn to accept both success and failure. Let all of them take turns 
) at being the leader in all group activity so that every child learns 
both to follow and to lead. Making minor variations in the games 
each time will add new challenges. 

The activities in this book can be carried out in any language but 
preference should be given to child's 'first language'. This is also 
called the 'mother tongue' as most often it is the language of the 
mother. It could also refer to the language the child is familiar 
and comfortable with and is the language of the neighbourhood 
or community and in which the child can freely express himself/ 
herself. This is usually the local or regional language. For the 


8 


Ploy Activities for Chi Id Development 



Let children 
experience 
the joy of 
doing and 
achieving 
mastery 


children whose 'first' language is different from the classroom 
language, the teacher should first try to pick up a few words of 
the child's language and help until the child gets familiar with the 
classroom language. 

Teachers must remember that 

• young children learn best in small groups because it eliminates 
long waiting periods and offers more person to person 
opportunities. 

• young children's attention span for any concentrated effort lasts 
for about one minute more than their age. 

Some suggestions to teachers 

• Introduce only one or two concepts at a time. 

• Keep games simple, and make sure that instructions are clear. 
Try to demonstrate as much as possible, especially when 
introducing a new game. 

• Ensure that each child has opportunity to participate, and to 
succeed. 


• Watch for restlessness and stop when the interest wanes. 

• Do not insist that every child participates in every game. Gently 
encourage them to take part. Recognise and reinforce child's 
individuality. 

• Play games without winners or losers. 

• Give each child a special task such as being a leader or initiator 
in order to foster positive qualities. 

• Praise and reward children for co-operative actions, and 
helpfulness. 



• Create situations where co-operative behaviour is needed. 

• Continue to let children experience the joy of doing and 
achieving mastery in their own time. 

The chapter on 'Organisation of Play Activities' discusses how to 
optimally utilize the space available, the toys, equipment and play 
materials needed and how to arrange them. The organisation of 
time - how to plan a schedule and how to use themes in an 
integrated- approach is also dealt with in this chapter. 


Introduction 


9 


The chapter on Evaluation deals with the importance of assessing 
the centre's performance as well as the progress made by children 
in their growth tide. 

The appendix provides step-by-step instructions on how to make 
various aids and materials that can be used for activities 
recommended in the book. 

A note on grouping 

Most early childhood classrooms use various grouping methods 
to help children master skills. 

Large groups 

The large group is the natural setting for teaching listening skills 
such as storytelling and music, and for large motor games. Large 
groups are usually the whole class and include children with wide 
and varying abilities. 

Medium groups 

These are smaller groups with 8 to 15 children, or about half an 
average class. This grouping is done where the children need 
assistance and guidance. In such cases it is best if children can be 
divided into two groups. One group can be closely guided and 
helped by the teacher, while the other can be engaged in free play 
outdoors, or with materials in a way that requires little supervision 
from the teacher. They can be supervised by a helper or an 
assistant. 

Small groups 

These groups allow for individualised instruction, since it permits 
children of like ability or interest to come together and work on a 
specific task. A small group consists of six or fewer children with 
one adult. Many activities require working in pairs, where two 
children work together quietly sharing the task and discussing it. 
Work in small groups or pairs can be best done when the classroom 
is so arranged that several "comers" or spaces are created by 
arranging the furniture appropriately. Small groups can work in 
different corners without disturbing each other, and can also 
switch place when needed. 

Often when children have had to focus on a particularly 
demanding activity or when they have mastered the skill they are 



10 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Try to utilise 

ft 

medium and 

i' • 

small groups 
as much as 
possible 


learning, they should be allowed to choose a toy or material like 
blocks or chalkboard to play with on their own. 

Most of the activities in the following chapters are for large groups. 
The circumstances in most centres are such that large group 
activity is the one that can most easily, practically and conveniently 
be used. However, wherever possible, one must try to utilise 
medium, and small groups as much as possible by adapting and 
varying the suggested activities and thinking of new ones. Once 
one is able to organise the space, time and materials, one can think 
up many more ways in which children can be made to work 
individually, in pairs or in small to medium groups. 


Children need dean surroundings, plenty of fresh air, play and 
exerdse for healthy physical growth and development. To 
develop large and small muscles, children need to practice 
exercises, such as running, jumping, crawling, skipping and 
balancing which makes their bodies strong and skillful in 
different ways. They need to experience fun - swinging, 
rocking and running about, and express joy with their body. If 
elaborate and expensive equipments such as slides, seesaws and 
jungle gyms are not available easily simple materials such as 
ropes, balls, boxes and tyres can be used as playthings. 

To plan the adivities needed for physical growth and 
development, one should have a good understanding of the 
characteristics of physical development. 

Characteristics of physical development 

Development is orderly, progressive and results in changes that 
are long lasting. Physical development follows two directions, 
one is the 'head-to-toe' direction, that is, starting from the head 
and going downwards. That is why in the womb (the prenatal 
stage), the head, which includes the brain and the sense organs, 
is the first to develop, the chest and the abdomen come next and 
finally the legs and so the head of the infant looks bigger in 
proportion to his / her limbs. 

The second direction that the physical development follows is 
from the 'centre of the body to the ends', that is, development 
proceeds outwards. The body parts and muscles near tire axis, 
(the spinal cord and the trunk) develop earlier; while the parts 
that are farthest, (the arms, the legs, the fingers and the toes) are 
the last to develop. It is because of this that children use the 
muscles of their shoulder, before they are able to use the 
muscles of the fingers. Similarly children are able to control the 
movement of their legs before they can use their toes. Therefore 
children can do gross motor activities using the arms and legs 
much before they can do minute activity with their fingers or 
toes. So there should be a progression in the activities planned 
for physical development. 

Free play 

Some times it is best to encourage, under adult supervision, free 
play with a few simple, items and taking care to provide 


1 2 Play Activities for Child Development 



Objective 
being to help 
themloosen 
up and feel 
comfortable, 
and develop 
their muscles 


enough space and time for it. While at other times organised 
games with easily available equipment can be conducted. 

Free play gives children opportunities during the day to run, 
jump and dance while playing on their own with other 
children. Young children are characteristically very energetic 
and cannot sit still for several hours, so one should ensure that 
there is plenty of physical movement in their play. 

If there are many children, they will have to be divided up into 
smaller groups and be given time to play outdoors in turns 
while the others can be engaged in other activities indoors. 

If there is very little or no outdoor open space, children can be 
taken in groups to a nearby park or garden once or twice a 
week, where they can play organised games and run around 
freely. 

Free outdoor play provides children a lot of scope to choose 
from the available materials and also the freedom to move from 
one to the other. The main objective being to help them loosen 
up and feel comfortable, and develop their muscles. (Some 
ideas for equipment for free play are given in the chapter on 
Organising Space. 

Children should experience a sense of achievement growing out 
of their increasing height and weight. Children must develop 
motor skills - large (or gross) motor or muscle control and co- 
ordination of their legs and hands. Mastering of these skills can 
be done through the typical activities which children like to do 
and need to do (see Box: 1) 


Box: 1 


Running 

Rolling 

Pushing and pulling 

Jumping 

Swinging 

Lifting and carrying 

Hopping 

Bouncing 

Walking 

Skipping 

Sliding 

Swimming 

Throwing 

Balancing 

Splashing 

Crawling 

Rocking 

Dancing 

Stretching 

Climbing 

Kicking 




Physical Development 


13 


Fine motor or small muscle co-ordination, that is, the 
development of hand and finger muscles, and eye-hand 
coordination, which require the movement of the fingers, 
wrists and hand will be dealt with in the next chapter. 

Small portable swings, jungle gyms and slides, can be placed in 
the verandah. If even this is not possible, it would be ideal to 
capitalise on existing resources and easily available materials 
like tyres, planks, boxes, bricks and rope can be collected. 
Children can use them in different ways and in different 
activities. 

Here is an example, for practising jumping using available 
resources : 

jumping off a low wall, a stool, a step or a rock 
jumping over a brick, a stone, a pole or a rope 
jumping in or out of a tyre, hoop, a circle or a tub 
jumping along a line, a rope, or a stick, 
jumping between two stones, two lines or two ropes 
jumping while holding or carrying something. 

Organised Games 

Free play, although good, is not enough. Children also need to 
play organised games in groups. It is important for them to 
learn and follow the rules of the game, and play together; and 
at the same time develop physical motor skills. There must be a 
balance between free play and organised games. Here are some 
games and activities which can be played with children for their 
physical development. These games will create fun and at the 
same time teach the children many rules of social behaviour, 
such as not to push, jostle or hurt others. 


TAKING BIG STEPS 


14 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 1 

Objective 

To control large motor 
movement 

Group size 

Large 

Material's 


Activity 

Ask children to form a line. 
Play some music or beat the 
drums. Children walk around 
stepping only on the foot 
shapes. They stop when the 
music or the drum beats stop. 
Continue till every child has 
had a turn. 



Thick cardboard, scissors, 
tape recorder or rhythm 
instrument like drums. 


Preparation 

Cut out about twenty 
cardboard foot - shapes. 
Arrange them around the 
room. Place the shapes far 
apart to ensure that the 
children stretch their feet to 
move from one step to the 
other. 

Attention 

Tyres, gaskets, mats, 
polythene bags, folded 
newspaper or just foot shapes 
drawn on the floor could be 
used for variations. 



Variation I 

Remove the card board foot 
steps. 

Play music with a slow beat. 
Ask the children to continue 
to make big steps in free 
pattern around the room. 

Variation II 

Use cut outs of large size 
animal paws or birds, claws. 
This could be related to the 
theme being followed in class, 
e.g. Wild animals then lion's 
paws or eagles claws could be 
used. 

Variation III 

To reinforce alphabet and 
counting skills write a letter or 
a number on each 
foot print. Ask 
children to say 
the letter or 
number as 
they take each 
step. 




WALKING LIKE ANIMALS 


Physical Development 


15 


Activity No. 2 
Objective 

To increase control of large 
motor movement 

To develop a sense of balance 
and co-ordination 

To observe and follow the 
leader 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Tape recorders, rhythm 
instrument, rhymes, songs on 
animals. 

Preparation 

Show the child how various 
animals walk. Ask the 
children to walk like an 
elephant, hop like a rabbit or 
leap like a frog. 


Activity 

Play the music, ask the 
children to walk like the 
animal you call out. e.g. 
Elephant. 

Children move around the 
room imitating an elephant's 
walk. 

Variation I 

Action words like jumping or 
skipping or dancing to music 
could also be used. 

Variation II 

Select a child as the leader. 

All the other children follow 
the leader and move around 
to the music. When the music 
stops the teacher calls out an 
action e.g. fly like a bird. The 
leader does the action and the 
others follow the leader. 



16 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 3 

Objective 

To develop large muscle 
control and co-ordination 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

A long rope, beanbag, book, 
bell. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Instead of a rope a line could 
be drawn with chalk, 
(outdoors, use limestone 
powder or white Rangoli 
powder). 

Preparation 

To make a beanbag make a 
small rectangular cloth bag 
which when filled will be the 
size of your fist. Fill with 
different substances like 
beans, seeds, sand, pebbles, 
twigs till almost full, stitch 
open end firmly. Beanbags can 
be used for balancing, 
throwing, tossing, feeling etc. 
The bags will make different 
sounds and also have 
different weights and 
textures. 


Activity 

Stretch the rope on the 
ground as a long line. Let 
children walk on it. Give 
different directions as the 
children walk , like take small 
steps, big steps, walk fast or 
slow. 

Variation I 

Tie a rope to two chairs at 
ground level to make a rope 
path. Ask children to walk on 
the rope. Make then put one 
foot in front of the other and 
walk on a tight rope with 
hands stretched outwards for 
balance. Then make them 
walk with a book or a beanbag 
on their heads. When children 
reach the other end, have the 
rest of the class clap. Let them 
imagine that they are in a real 
circus and are tightrope 
walkers. 

Variation II 

Stretch a rope on the ground. 
Ask a child to hold a bell and 
walk on the rope from one end 
without shaking tile bell. If 
the bell makes a sound the 
child has to start again and 
complete the walk on the rope 
without letting the bell make 
any noise. It should be a silent 
walk. A rattle or a small 
instrument, which makes a 
sound, may be used instead of 
the bell. 



MORE ROPES 


Physical Development 


17 



Activity No. 4 
Objective 

To develop large motor 
co-ordination 

To do actions together 

To learn to jump heights 

To crawl on all fours. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

A thick rope about 20 metres 
long 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Holding the rope will make 
the children stay in a line. 


Activity 

Make the children stand in a 
line holding a rope. Now 
make them walk around the 
playground in the form of a 
train. Sing a song about a train 
while they are walking 
around. The train can go fast 
or slow and also stop at 
stations. Children can also 
move around like a snake or a 
boat with the rope as oars. 

Variation I 

Let two children hold a rope 
about 6 centimetres above the 
ground. The others must 
jump the rope without 
touching the rope. Raise the 
rope a little each time the 
children have cleared the 
height. 

Variation II 

Let two children hold the rope 
up about 30 cms. above the 
ground. The rest of the 
children form a line and crawl 
under the rope without 
touching it. Lower the rope a 
little for each round. 


WALK ALONG THE SHAPE 


1 8 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 5 

Objective 

To balance and walk on the 
line 

To learn to name the shapes 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Chalk 

Preparation 

Draw different shapes on the 
ground. It must be big 
enough for children to walk 
on the outlines. 


Activity 

Make the children stand in a 
line at one end of the room 
where the shapes are drawn 
on the floor. Ask the children 
to take turns and walk on the 
outline of the shape that you 
call out. e.g. if you call out 
'circle', they must walk on the 
circle. Call out the next shape 
for the next attempt. 

Variation 

The figure drawn on the floor 
could be made more complex 
by drawing overlapping 
shapes. This will be more 
challenging for the children. 



IN AND OUT 




i 



Activity No. 6 
Objective 

To have control of the 
movement of jumping 
forwards and backwards 

To listen to and follow 
instructions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Chalk 

Preparation 

Draw a large circle on the 
floor 


Physical Development 19 

Activity 

Make children stand on the 
outline of the circle drawn on 
the floor. You can stand in the 
middle. When you call "in", 
the children must jump 
forward into the circle, and 
when you call "out" the 
children must jump backwards 
out of the circle. Start the 
game at first saying "in"' and 
"out" slowly. Go faster and 
change the sequence of your 
calls once they are 
comfortable. The child who 
makes a mistake is out of the 
game. Continue the game until 
only one child is left. 

Variation I 

Ask children to stand outside 
the circle. When you call the 
name of an animal that lives 
on the land, the children must 
jump inside the circle. When 
you call out the name of a bird 
or insect that flies, the children 
must jump out of the circle, 
e.g. 'elephant' the children 
jump inside the circle and 
'crow' the children jump out. 

Variation II 

This game could be played 
also with living and non-living 
things, even and odd numbers 
and names of objects that 
begin with different sounds. 



20 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To develop skills in balance 
and co-ordination. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Two boxes or bricks or 
turned over flowerpots. 

A thick plank of wood 
about 3 mts in length and 
30 cms wide, a beanbag. 

Preparation 

Place the two boxes, flower 
pots or bricks, a few feet 
apart and place the plank 
across them, each end of 
the plank resting on one 
support. 

Attention 

Make children walk with 
arms outstretched for 
balance. 



Activity 

Let children walk on the 
plank from one end to other. 
Do it as many time as the 
children want until they can 
walk easily and without much 
effort. 

Variation I 

Now make them walk in 
different ways on the plank. 

• Walk backwards 

• Walk sideways. Move 
slowly across the plank. 

• Walk with a beanbag on the 
head. 

• Carry an object in one hand 
while walking 

• Turn around and walk in 
the opposite direction 
without getting off the 
plank. 

• Listen to the music and take 
steps or dance to the beat of 
the music. 

Variation II 

As the children become 
skilled, you can increase the 
height of the stands as well as 
the length of the wooden 
plank, and also use a 
narrower plank. 

Variation III 

Change the degree of slope by 
raising one end with a box or 
bricks. Ask children to walk 
up and down, forward and 
backward, on the slope. 


XCH ME IF YOU 


Physical Development 


21 




t 



Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To develop leg muscles 

To play together 

To follow rules 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

This is a common game where 
one child, the catcher, must 
catch all the other children. 
When a child is caught, she 
becomes the catcher. The game 
can continue as long as the 
children want to play. 

Variation I 

This is the same game with a 
difference. The children run 
around and when the catcher 
comes near, she/he sits to save 
one self. The catcher must 
touch the head of the child 
who sits down. Although she/ 
he is safe, the child cannot get 
up until some other child 
comes and touches her/him to 
set her/him free. When a child 
gets caught, she/he in turn 
becomes the catcher. 

Variation II 

The 'tag 7 or catching game can 
become a 'chain tag'. In this 
game the child who is caught 
holds the catcher's hand and 
both of them chase the other 
children. Each time a child is 
caught she/he joins the chain. 
The chain grows longer as 
more children are caught. The 
game ends when only one 
child is left. The children must 
be careful not to break the 
chain while running to catch. 



22 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To develop large muscles 
To gain control and balance 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

60 - potatoes/stones/wooden 
blocks. 

10 limes and tablespoons. 

Books/beanbags to balance on 
the head 

Chalk powder or white 
'kolam' powder, whistle. 

Preparation 

Draw a start line. Then place 
the potatoes along the path in 
which the children will run - 
that is, six potatoes for each 
participating child. Ten 
children can run the race at a 
time on ten tracks. 


Activity 

Make ten children stand on 
the start line of their track. 
When the whistle is blown, 
the children must run to the 
first potato, pick it up and run 
back to the starting line and 
place it. Then they must run 
and pick up the next potato. 

In this manner pick up all the 
potatoes kept on their track 
and bring them to the start 
line. Let the race carry on till 
all the children have brought 
all the potatoes to the start 
line. Stones or wooden blocks 
could also be used. 

Variation I 

Give each child a lime and a 
tablespoon. Let them stand on 
the starting line. When the 
whistle is blown the children 
should balance the lime on the 
spoon and run to the finish 
line. If the lime falls down, the 
child must stop, pick up the 
lime, place it on the spoon 
and continue the race. 

Variation II 

Give each child an old book or 
a beanbag to balance on the 
head. Make the children stand 
on the start line. When the 
whistle is blown, the children 
must walk, balancing the 
book / beanbag on their 
heads. 


CURVING 


Physical Development 


23 



Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To run an irregular course, 
while keeping the body under 
control. 

To maintain balance when in 
motion. 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Chalk, soft hurdles like rolled 
mats, cardboard boxes or soft 
toys. 

Preparation 

Draw a line on the floor with 
a number of curves 

For the variation, arrange a 
long rope in different ways on 
the ground to resemble a path. 
Place a few objects at intervals 
along the curves/rope. 

Attention 

Speed is not important but 
maintaining balance, even 
when taking sharp curves or 
jumping over the obstacles is 
important. 


Activity 

Make the children stand at 
one end of the line. Let each 
child take a turn to run on the 
line, taking care not to step off 
the line. A rope could also be 
used on which the children 
run. Continue the race till all 
the children have had a 
chance. 

Variation 

Place a few obstacles (hurdles) 
on the path, e.g. objects like 
cardboard box, a rolled mat, a 
brick etc. at intervals. Children 
take turns to run and jump 
over the obstacles. 


24 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 11 

Objective 

To develop control and 
reasonable accuracy when 
throwing a ball. 

To take turns. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Big balls 

Large, sturdy cardboard 
packing box, (computer 
packing box) packing tape. 

Preparation 

Make a "catching box" by 
reinforcing the edges of a 
large cardboard box with 
packing tape. Cut an 
opening on one side for the 
ball to roll out. Tape one of 
the opening flaps to the 
base of the box to form a 
ramp. Cut out the other 
flaps. 

Attention 

Make children aware of the 
action of throwing (arms 
swing up over the head when 
the ball is thrown over the 
head) 


Activity 

Let a child hold the ball over 
the head and throw it into the 
box, standing at a short 
distance from the box. The ball 
will roll down the ramp out of 
the opening in front of the box 
back to the child. Draw a chalk 
line on the floor, about a metre 
from the box. Children should 
stand on the line and take turns 
to throw the ball into the box. 
Gradually increase the distance 
between the child and the box. 

Variation 1 

A basket, bucket, hanging tyre 
or an outline drawn with chalk 
can be used instead. Another 
child can be made to collect the 
ball and throw it to the next 
child. 

Variation II 

Children form a circle. You 
stand in the centre and throw a 
ball at each child in turn and 
they return it to you. Smaller 
circles can be made with six to 
ten children and a child stands 
in the centre to throw the ball. 

Variation III 

Children stand in a circle. A 
child throws the ball to the one 
next to her/him. In turn this 
child throws to the next child. 
Slowly increase the distance 
between the children. 


ROLL A BALL 


Physical Development 


25 



Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To increase control of hand 
and arm muscles. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Big rubber ball. 

Preparation 

Draw a double line to form a 
broad path about 3 mts. long 
on the floor. 


Activity 

Divide the children into two 
groups, one group stands at 
one end of the path drawn on 
the floor and the other group 
at the other end. Let children 
take turns to roll the ball 
between the lines. 

Variation I 

The path can be made 
narrower as the children 
succeed in rolling the ball 
along it. 

Variation II 

Make the children sit cross- 
legged in a circle. Give them a 
ball and let them pretend that 
it is very hot to touch. The 
children must roll the ball 
quickly to each other and try 
not to keep it for too long. 


(f 


BOUNCE THE BALL 


26 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 13 


Objective 


To acquire the skill of 
bouncing and catching a ball. 

To increase control of hand 
and arm muscles. 


Group size 

Large 

Materials 


Five large rubber balls. 

Preparation 

Draw with chalk big shapes, 
squares, circles and triangles 
of different sizes on the floor. 

Attention 


Give enough practice to 
children to bounce and catch a 
ball. 


Activity 

Let children take turns and 
just bounce the ball at random 
to a song such as the 
following: 

"Bounce catch. 

Bounce catch. 

Little bouncing ball! 

Bounce catch, 

Bounce catch. 

Never let it fall! 

Throw now, throw now, 

Throw it up so high! 

Some folk drop the ball 

But that's not you or I". 

Variation 

Ask all the children to sit a 
little away from the shapes 
drawn on the floor. Give a ball 
each to five children and let 
them bounce the balls, within 
the shapes. Count as they 
bounce the ball. When a child 
bounces the ball outside the 
line of the shape, he / she has 
to sit out and another gets the 
turn. In this manner every 
child gets a chance to bounce 
the ball in all the shapes. 



KICK THE BALI 


Phy sica\ Development 


27 


Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To leam to kick with one toot 
with co-ordination. 

To gain body control and 
balance. 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

A small football. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

This activity should be 
monitored carefully. 


Activity 

Ask children to stand in a 
circle and kick the ball at 
random at each other. 

Variation I 

Ask children to stand in a 
circle and kick the ball only to 
a specific child. The child with 
the ball calls out a name and 
then kicks the ball towards 
that child. 

Variation II 

Make children kick the ball on 
to a target drawn on the wall. 

Variation III 

Ask the children to sit in circle 
with enough space between 
them. Let the children lean 
back on their hands and kick 
the ball. They should not 
touch the ball with their 
hands. A child kicks the ball 
to another child sitting 
opposite her/him. 



KICK THE B 


Physical Development 


27 


Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To learn to kick with one foot 
with co-ordination. 


To gain body control and 
balance. 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

A small football. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

This activity should be 
monitored carefully. 


Activity 

Ask children to stand in a 
circle and kick the ball at 
random at each other. 

Variation I 

Ask children to stand in a 
circle and kick the ball only to 
a specific child. The child with 
the ball calls out a name and 
then kicks the ball towards 
that child. 

Variation II 

Make children kick the ball on 
to a target drawn on the wall. 

Variation III 

Ask the children to sit in circle 
with enough space between 
them. Let the children lean 
back on their hands and kick 
the ball. They should not 
touch the ball with their 
hands. A child kicks the ball 
to another child sitting 
opposite her/him. 



DO IT DIFFERENTLY 


28 


Play Activities for Child Development 


% 


Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To increase control of muscles 
of hands, arms and legs. 

To follow instructions. 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

A ball for each child 

Preparations 

Nil 

Attention 

Give enough time for 
practising the activity. You 
could change the activity 
according to the abilities of 
the children. 



Activity 

Ask children to stand in a line 
and pass the ball from one to 
the other in different ways like 
over the head, under the legs, 
with eyes closed, backwards, 
while hopping or jumping. 

Variation I 

Ask children to stand in a line. 
Each child should have a ball. 
Make them do these actions. 

• Hold the ball out in front 
with both hands. Now hold 
it above the head. 

• Hold the ball in front using 
only the fingers. Hold it 
above the head using only 
the fingers. 

• Use the back of the hands 
to hold the ball and lift 
hands above the head. 

• Use only elbows to hold 
the ball and lift hand over 
the head. 

• Use the knees to hold the 
ball and try to walk. 

Repeat these actions as many 
times as the children want. 

Variation II 

Make the children do simple 
exercises holding the ball in 
their hands. 


OLD TYRES 


Physical Development 


29 


Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To develop leg muscles 

To gain body control and 
balance 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Old scooter, motor cycle, or 
cycle tyres. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Tyres can be used as swings, 
as seats for musical chairs, for 
climbing or for construction 
and as balancing frames. 



Activity 

Let the children roll the tyres 
anywhere around in an open 
area. After they have learnt to 
roll the tyres, draw a chalk 
line on the ground and tell 
them to roll it along the line. 

Variation I 

Arrange the tyres on the 
ground in different forms and 
make the children jump in and 
out of the tyres, or jump from 
one tyre to the other, or walk 
on all fours like animals on 
the tyres. 

Variation II 

Hold up two or more tyres 
one behind the other to form a 
tunnel and ask children to 
crawl through it. The tyres 
could be buried halfway 
under the ground to form a 
tunnel. Let the children crawl 
through them. 

Variation III 

Hang a tyre at a reachable 
height for the children. Let 
children throw softball or a 
beanbag through it. 

Gradually increase the 
distance from which the 
children throw the ball. 


4 


MUSICAL CHAIRS 


30 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 17 
Objective 

To develop leg muscles 

To listen attentively and 
follow directions 

To understand rules 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Chairs or small seats, tape 
recorder or music player, 
drums, any rhythm 
instruments. Use cycle tyres, 
mats, cushions, or folded 
squares of newspapers for 
seats 

Preparation 

Place the chairs / mats in a 
circle, one less than the 
number of children 
participating in the game. 

Attention 

In the beginning a trial round 
could be given for children to 
understand the game. 


Activity 

Let children run around the 
circle of chairs in one direction, 
while you play music or beat a 
drum. When the music stops, 
every child must find a chair. 
The one who has no seat sits 
quietly for the rest of the game. 
Now remove one chair and 
continue till all but one are out. 

Variation I 

All the chairs are labeled with 
the names of the children, so 
that each child has a chair. 
When the music is stopped 
each child runs and sits on his/ 
her own chair. The last child to 
sit down is out of the game. 

The chairs are not removed. 

The game goes on until all but 
one are out. 

Variation II 

This game is played in the 
open. Cycle tyres are placed in 
a circle, one less than the 
number of children 
participating. The children 
follow the teacher's directions 
for movement, e.g. skip, gallop, 
hop forwards, hop backwards 
etc. When the teacher stops 
clapping, the children run and 
sit inside the tyres. The child 
who does not get a tyre is out 
and will get to name the next 
movement to be followed. 



THE DOG AND THE BONE 


Physical Development 


31 


Activity No. 18 

Objective 

To develop large muscle co- 
ordination 

Group size 

Large 

Material 


A handkerchief, or a small 
object 

Preparation 

Draw two lines about 10 
metres apart with a small 
circle in the centre of the two 
lines (to place the bone/ 
hand-kerchief) 

Attention 

After the children have learnt 
the game, numbers can be 
called at random. 


Activity 

Divide the children into two 
teams. Make them stand on 
the two lines marked on either 
side of the circle. Number the 
children in each team. When 
you call out a number, the two 
children who have that 
number are the "dogs" and 
must run to the centre and try 
to pick up the "bone" 
(handkerchief) which is 
placed in tlie circle. The one 
who gets the bone first runs 
back to his/her line and wins a 
point for his/her team. Call 
out another number and 
repeat the activity until all the 
children have had a turn of 
being the "dog". 

Variation I 

Make the children use only 
their right hand to pick up the 
bone could make the game 
more difficult. Their left 
hands must be folded and 
placed on the back. 

Variation II 


Instead of numbers, letters of 
the alphabet or names of 
animals, birds, transport or 
words related to the theme 
being followed in the class 
could be used. 



MUSICAL ISLANDS 


32 



Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 19 

Objective 

To develop leg muscles 

To be aware of numbers 

To learn rules 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Cycle tyres, sheets of 
newspaper, circles drawn with 
chalk, mats - to form the 
islands 

Preparation 

Place the islands around the 
room or in the playground. 



Activity 

Ask the children to run 
around in a circle while you 
sing or use a musical 
instrument or clap to a beat. 
When you stop, call out a 
number such as 2,3,4 or 5. The 
children must get on to an 
island in groups of the 
number called out. e.g. if you 
have called out three, only 
three children must get 
together on each island in a 
group, neither more nor less. 
Those groups that are formed 
with the wrong number of 
children should be asked to 
stand out and watch the game. 
Remove one or two islands 
each time as the game 
progresses. Start with small 
numbers and proceed to more 
difficult ones. 

Variation 

You can change the game by 
giving more difficult 
instruction e.g. "Six legs" 
(Means three children should 
climb on to an island, "four 
hands" (two children), 20 
fingers (two children). 




MASK GAMES 


Physical Development 


33 


j 






Activity No. 20 

Objective 

To control body movement 

To follow direction and play 
together 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Masks or caps to show wolf 
and lamb 

Preparation 

To make masks of wolf, 
lamb and lion, see Appendix. 


Activity 

Let the children form a circle 
and hold hands. One child is 
the lamb (wears lamb mask) 
and is inside the circle; and 
another child is the wolf and is 
outside the circle (wears wolf 
mask). The wolf goes around 
the circle calling out "Is the 
lamb at home?" and the 
children say, "No". When the 
children say "Yes", the wolf 
tries to break the circle and get 
inside to catch the lamb. The 
children should hold hands 
tight and not allow the wolf to 
enter the circle. If the wolf 
enters the circle, the children 
should allow the lamb to get 
out. If the wolf catches the 
lamb, these two children join 
the circle, and two others 
become the lamb and the wolf. 

Variation 

One child is the lion (wears 
lion mask) and the others are 
the goats. The lion stands at 
one end of the room or 
playground with his back to 
the others. The goats creep up 
behind the lion and say, "What 
is the time?" the lion answers 
"One o' clock" or "Four 
o'clock". When the lion says 
"Time for dinner" he turns 
around and tries to catch the 
goats. If a goat is caught, that 
child becomes the lion. 



Children learn about the world around them by using their senses. 

While playing they see, hear, touch and move, taste and smell. 

This sensory experience and discrimination forms the basis for 

the development of concepts. 

The six senses 

• See (Visual) - Visual impressions are one of the most important 
and valuable sources of learning for young children. They learn 
to experience and name the different colours, shapes, sizes and 
patterns that they see, not only in the natural world and in 
material objects, but also in people. They gradually learn to 
discriminate between the various sights, sounds and other 
sensory experiences. Learning to discriminate shapes and 
patterns, for example, is an essential preparation for learning 
to read and write. 

• Hear (Auditory) - Sounds are important to children, and interest 
in sounds, and the capacity to listen and to discriminate sounds, 
contribute to the development of speech. Children discover 
many sounds on their own as they explore materials, but they 
must be helped to identify and listen to individual sounds. 
They can be given experiences to listen to real life sounds, a 
bird's chirp, the sound of an aeroplane, the ticking of a clock or 
the rustling of leaves. 

• Touch (Tactile) - Children are responsive to the feel of things. 
They learn from touching and feeling and need a wide variety 
of experiences with touching in order to develop adequate 
understanding of the world around them. They can be provided 
with many experiences of touching and be encouraged to use 
the correct descriptive words for the feel of various things. A 
"feely/ magic box" \vith a collection of different textured objects 
gives children a wide experience of feel of things. 

• Taste (Gustatory) - Children can identify good and bad taste. 
But they must be encouraged to use appropriate terms such as 
sweet, sour, bitter, salty etc. to differentiate the variety of taste 
in food they eat everyday. 

• Smell (Olfactory) - There are many kinds of pleasant and 
unpleasant smells in the child's immediate environment e.g. 
smell of food, soaps, flowers, clothes etc. Describing smells 



Unstructured 

pby. 

structured 


of sensory 
motor skills. 


Sensory Development 35 

increases children's ability to express their perceptions and to 
describe their experiences. 

• Moving and Doing. (Kinesthetic and Manipulative). The sense 
of bodily movement is also one of the senses that forms the 
experience on which the child's learning is based. Movement 
activities have already been described in the last chapter. 
Equally important for fine motor development is "doing" things 
with hands and fingers, manipulating various materials and 
objects. 

A set of simple activities to help develop fine motor skills and 
eye-hand coordination can be seen in Box: 2 


Ktivities end 
exploration 

Box: 2 


withe 

Finger play 

Manipulative materials 

variety of 


like clay, water and sand 

objects and 

Blocks 

Rolling marbles 

sensations 

Drawing 

Finger painting 

are 

Picking 

Picking and sorting small objects 

mportant in 

Beads threading 

Cutting with scissors 

the early 

Paper tearing 




Unstructured play, structured activities and exploration with a 
variety of objects and sensations are important in the early 
development of sensory motor skills. Children learn by interacting 
with the concrete or real objects, and the people who are part of 
their environment. They use their senses to distinguish the different 
qualities of different objects. They learn that objects come in 
different shapes, sizes and colours, that things may be soft or hard, 
rough or smooth, and may have different smells and tastes or 
make different sounds. This is important not only for the 
development of all the sensory and motor skills, but also for 
maintaining a high level of interest in their learning. In playing 
with clay, or beads, or construction blocks, they learn to gain 
control over hand and finger movements, to practise eye-hand 
co-ordination, and experience the joy of mastery over objects and 
materials in the world. 

Whenever appropriate, have children use more than one sense 
organs e.g. eating a banana - let them see, feel, taste and smell it. 



36 



Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity 

Ask children to sit in a circle. 
Blindfold any one child and 


Activity No. 1 

Objective 

To locate sounds 

To listen carefully and 
attentively. 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Any musical instrument or a 
bell, or toy drum, a plate and 
a spoon etc. 



make the blindfolded child sit 
in the centre of the circle. 

Make sounds vocally or with 
an instrument from different 
locations in the room. Ask the 
child to point to the direction 
of the sound. Give each child 
a turn to guess. 

Variation I 

Make one child go out of the 
room. The rest hide a buzzer or 
any object that makes noise such 
as timepiece etc. in a part of the 
room. Call the child in and ask 
the child to find the object. 

Variation II 

Ask children to sit in a circle. 
Blindfold one child. Ask another 
child to move around the room 
making sounds. The blind 
folded child must follow the 
direction of the sound and find 
the person. 

Variation III 

Ask children to sit in a circle. 
Ask them to close their eyes 
and keep absolutely silent for a 
moment and listen to the sounds 
they can hear. Then ask children 
what they have heard. Give 
clues and make the child aware 
of sounds in their environment. 



Sensory Development 37 


Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To distinguish between loud 
and soft sounds. 

Group Size 

Large 

Materials 

Objects that make sound such 
as drums, whistle, a bell. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Seat children in a circle and 
ask them to be very quiet. 
Make a loud or soft sound like 
clapping hands, whispering, 
dropping a book, shouting, 
bursting a balloon, slamming 
a door, walking, jumping etc. 
Let each child in turn identify 
the sound that you have made 
as loud or soft. Children take 
turns to make loud and soft 
sounds and the rest of the 
class describes. 

Variation 

Give a drum or a bell or a 
whistle to one of the children. 
Ask him/her to make a sound 
that is soft or loud. Give 
directions such as loud - 
louder - soft - softer - silence 
(no sound). Let children by 
turns give instructions and the 
class make sounds 
accordingly. 



38 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 3 
Objective 

To make sounds using only 
the different parts of the body. 

To keep to rhythm and work 
together 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Ask children to stand in a 
circle. Give them a few ideas of 
making sounds like jumping, 
clapping, rubbing hands, 
hitting the hands, clicking the 
tongue, smacking lips, 
blowing and so on. Then each 
child is given a turn and has to 
make a sound with his/her 
body and the others imitate 
him/her. The game can 
continue as long as the 
children can come out with 
new ideas. 

Variation I 

Form a 'body orchestra'. 

Divide the children into 
groups of four or five. Let each 
group make one kind of sound 
like blowing, whistling, 
clicking the teeth, snapping 
fingers, stamping, clapping, 
rubbing hands etc. Teach each 
group their sounds in time to a 
simple rhythm. Give them 
enough practice. Now to begin 
the game, call one group to 
make their sound keeping to 
the rhythm of a simple song 
they all know. In this manner 
each group makes its sound 
when called, in time to the 
rhythm or tune. Then you call 
out "every one join", and the 
whole group makes their 
sounds together and you have 
your "body orchestra". 


SOUNDS OF OBJE 


Sensory Development 39 


i/> 

d 



Activity No. 4 

Objective 

To listen carefully 

To be aware that different 
objects make different sounds. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Objects that make different 
sounds - a bell, a rattle, a ball, 
pieces of wood, a metal plate 
or a cup, scraps of paper. 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Make sounds with each object 
using different methods - 
striking the pot or a metal 
plate with a stick, shaking a 
box or a tin containing stones, 
tearing or crushing paper, 
rubbing two spoons together, 
bouncing a ball, or splashing 
water. Ask children to listen 
carefully and name or 
describe the particular sound. 
To play the game, the children 
sit in a circle and close their 
eyes. Make a sound and ask a 
child to name it. Continue till 
every child has guessed one 
sound correctly. 

Variation I 

Instead of children closing 
their eyes, you could play the 
game by making the sound 
from behind a screen, so that 
the children cannot see the 
object. 

Variation II 

As in the first game, show the 
children the articles you have 
collected and let them hear the 
different sounds they make. 
When the children close their 
eyes, make three different 
sounds with three different 
objects. Let the children take 
turns to come forward and 
repeat the three sounds in the 
correct order. 


40 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 5 

Objectives 

To develop the sense of smell 

To differentiate the smell of a 
number of materials and 
classify them as sweet, 
pungent or bad. 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Different smelling substances 
like onion, dhania, rose petals, 
chillies, rubber, and small 
cloth bags or tins. 

Preparation 

Place a little of each of the 
substances into different bags 
and stitch them up. Or use 
small tins with a small hole 
on the lid. 

Attention 

Children must have smelt the 
substances before they are put 
into bags, and they must be 
familiar with the smell as 
well as the substance. 


Activity 

Place about two or three bags 
on the table. Make each child 
come forward. Let them smell 
substances with their eyes 
closed without touching the 
bag. Ask questions about the 
hidden content, e.g. What do 
you smell? Is it sweet? dry? 
or pungent? When all the 
children have had a try and 
have identified the smell you 
could add a few more bags of 
substances and continue the 
activity. 

Variation I 

Ask children to collect and 
bring to class different types 
of smelling objects. The 
children take turns to describe 
the smell of their object. Ask 
questions and lead a 
discussion in the class. These 
substances can then be 
labelled and displayed. 

Variation II 

The different smelling 
substances brought to the 
class can be sorted and 
classified by placing on trays 
as sweet smelling, pungent, 
bad smelling etc. 


GUESS MY TAS 


Sensory Development 


41 



Activity No. 6 

Objective 

To develop the sense of taste 

To learn words that specify 
different tastes like sweet, 
sour, hot, bitter etc. 

Group size 

Small 

Material 

Small quantities of sugar, salt, 
roti / chapathi / bread, lime, 
fruits, and other eatables with 
different tastes. 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Talk about different tastes 
using words such as sweet, 
sour, hot, bitter, salty and flat. 
Ask a child to close her/his 
eyes and place a little bit of 
one of the foods on her/his 
tongue. The child must taste 
and guess what it is. You 
could ask the question, "How 
do you know?" and encourage 
the child to discuss the taste. 

Variation I 

Ask children to collect and 
bring to class foods with 
different tastes. Each child 
must describe the taste of her/ 
his food. Ask questions and 
lead a discussion in the class. 
Then label the foods and 
display. 

Variation II 

Ask children to classify the 
foods with different tastes, by 
placing them in different trays 
according to their taste like 
sweet, sour, hot, bitter, etc. 


SOFT AND HARD 


42 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To recognise qualities of soft 
and hard in objects 

To use the words soft and 
hard to identify such qualities 
in objects 

To sort objects as soft and 
hard 

Croup size 

Medium 

Material 

A number of soft and hard 
objects like cotton ball, 
pompom, pieces of soft 
sponge, wool, fur, pebbles, 
keys, coins, washers paper 
clips, spoons, pencils, soft 
pillow and a plastic tray. 

Preparation 

None 

Attention 

At first use objects that are 
easy to distinguish e.g. cotton 
ball for soft and key for hard. 
This will encourage children 
to explore and participate in 
the play activity. 


Activity 

Spread the objects in front of 
the children on the table. Pick 
up each object and talk about 
it. Make the children feel each 
object, squeezing it in their 
hands, to know which are soft 
and which are hard. Now 
remove all the objects and 
place one object on a child's 
hand. The child has to 
squeeze it and identify the 
quality of the object as hard or 
soft. Give a chance to all the 
children. 

Variation I 

Place a soft pillow and a 
plastic tray on the table. 
Discuss with the children the 
soft/hard quality of the 
objects. Place all the objects in 
a box on the floor. Children 
take turns to select an object, 
feel it for its quality and place 
the soft ones on the pillow, 
and the hard objects in the 
tray. 

Variation II 

Make a display board of soft 
and hard objects collected by 
the children. The objects can 
be fixed to a chart paper with 
an adhesive. 



JCH CARDS 


Sensory Development 


43 


Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To develop the sense of touch 

To distinguish similarities and 
differences by texture 

To understand concepts such 
as smooth, rough and very 
rough surfaces. 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

Collect two pieces each of 
materials of different textures, 
such as Khadi, silk, nylon, 
sandpaper, paper of different 
textures and a sheet of chart 
paper. 

Preparation 

From each of the pairs of 
material collected, paste one 
on the chart paper. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle on 
the floor. Place the chart paper 
in the centre on the floor. 
Distribute the other pieces of 
material to the children one 
for each child. Let each child 
come forward and match his/ 
her piece with the one on the 
floor. The other children must 
check to see if the matching is 
correct. Children can also 
discuss and describe the 
texture of the piece they have. 

Variation 

Make children sit in a semi- 
circle and call one child at a 
time. Spread out three cards 
with obvious differences in 
textures. Ask the child to 
touch the cards and explain 
what they feel like, rough, 
smooth or very rough. 




44 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To learn to count by feel, 
without looking 

To feel and count 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Small objects like marbles, 
pebbles, shells and seeds 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

The number of objects put in 
the hand must be a few in the 
beginning, e.g. 3 or 4. Slowly 
increase the numbers. 


Activity 

Ask children to sit in a circle 
with hands cupped open 
behind their backs. Give 
one child a bag of small 
objects like beads. Ask her to 
run around the circle and 
put a few beads into the 
cupped hands of one of the 
children. This child must 
count the number of beads 
just by feeling, and without 
looking and call out the 
answer. Then place it in 
front of the class for the 
whole group to count and 
check the answer. If the 
child has counted correctly, 
he/she is given the chance 
to put the objects in the hands 
of the next child. 




Sensory Development 


45 



Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To experience walking with 
out seeing 

To follow direction 

Group size 
Large 

Material 

Handkerchief or scarf to tie 
around the eyes of children. 
A thick long rope. 

Preparation 

Stretch the rope on the floor 
to form a long line. 



Activity 

Blindfold a child and make 
him/her walk with a foot on 
either side of the rope without 
touching the rope. Let each 
child take a turn at walking 
with their feet on either side 
of the rope. 

Variation I 

Tie five to six ropes to chairs 
at a height of 3 to 4 inches from 
the floor. Keep them apart so 
that the children have to take 
one step to cross over each 
rope at a time. After they 
have practised stepping over 
the ropes, blindfold them and 
make them step over the ropes 
one at a time. 

Variation II 

Pair up the children. Blindfold 
one child. Give a task to be 
done, e.g. walk across the room, 
or go out of the door or touch 
a particular person, or an object. 
With the help of the partner, 
the blind folded child carries 
out the task. 

Variation III 

In this game the partner is not 
allowed to touch the blind- 
folded partner, but must lead 
across the room only by giving 
verbal instructions of what to 
do, like "Move to the left, take 
a step forward". 










STUFFED ANIMALS 


46 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 11 
Objective 

To develop dexterity of 
fingers 

To develop eye hand co- 
ordination 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

Large brown sheets of paper, 
old newspaper, large patterns 
of simple animals or other 
objects, paints, staple pins, 
scissors, and old socks. 

Preparation 

Cut two large shapes of 
animals with the brown paper 
and staple them together, 
leaving a space for stuffing. 


Activity 

Give each child a sheet of 
newspaper and ask them to 
tear it up into pieces and, 
crumple them into small balls 
and stuff them into the animal 
shapes through the opening 
carefully without tearing the 
shapes. After stuffing it full 
staple the opening. Let 
children paint the features or 
cut out eyes nose etc. from 
coloured paper and stick on 
the animal. Display the toy 
animals where everyone can 
see them. These stuffed 
animals could be given to the 
children to play with. 

Variation 

Make children stuff old socks 
with crumpled newspaper bits 
and make a sock puppet. 
Decorate the puppet with 
wool and paper. Insert a stick 
into the socks and tie near the 
neck of the puppet. Let 
children stage a puppet show. 
The script could be yours or a 
story they know or they could 
make up their own story. 



TEAR IT UP 



Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To experience the feel of 
tearing paper 

To develop eye hand 
co-ordination 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Sheets of old newspaper 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Give plenty of time to practise 
tearing out shapes. The tom 
papers can be used later for 
making paper mache. 



Sensory Development 47 

Activity 

Give children a large piece of 
paper and let them tear it 
anyway they like. Let children 
then describe what they have 
tom out. This could be 
displayed in the classroom. 

Variation I 

Let children tear small pieces 
of paper roll them into small 
balls. Give paste and large 
sheets of paper and let them 
stick the balls on the larger 
paper to make a picture. 

When dry, this could be 
painted. 

Variation II 

Give each child a sheet of 
paper and some thread. Let 
them crumple half a sheet of 
paper into a small ball. Direct 
the children to keep pressing 
till they get a good round 
shape. Now help children to 
tie the thread around the ball. 
Make them apply paste on the 
strips of paper and roll this 
around the ball. Cover the 
whole ball with strips of 
paper. Keep aside to dry. 
Children can paint the ball 
when it is dry. 



48 Play Activities for Child Development 




Activity No. 13 
Objective 

To use the five senses while 
going for a nature walk 

To develop curiosity 

To learn to discuss about 
things they have seen 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Pencil and paper, small boxes 
or baskets to collect nature 
objects 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Take children on a nature walk 
to a park or a garden. Ask 
them to close their eyes for 30 
seconds and listen quietly. 
Then ask the children to 
describe the sounds that they 
heard. Stop at different places 
to hear different sounds. List 
all these for later discussion. 

Then ask children to lie on the 
grass and stretch out. Ask 
them to look out for five 
different plants within their 
reach. See if they can find any 
insects crawling in the grass 

Then make them walk on and 
collect objects which feel 
different in texture, like a 
smooth stone, a rough bark, 
hairy leaf, soft leaf, etc. Feel 
and discuss. 

Collect objects of different 
colours, and leaves of 
different greens. Arrange the 
leaves from the lightest to the 
darkest green, or from longest 
to smallest, widest to 
narrowest, or by different 
shapes. 

Variation 

After the nature walk, display 
in the class all the different 
things the children have 
collected. Discuss the different 
senses they experienced. 




Sensory Development 


49 


Activity No. 14 
Objective 

To develop finger dexterity 

To develop taste for design 
and colour 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Flower petals, small leaves, 
colour chalk, rangoli powder 
(white and coloured). A few 
hardboards (60x60 cms.) 

Preparation 

Draw simple designs with a 
wet chalk on the hard boards 
or on the floor 

Attention 

After the activity the powder 
can be collected and preserved 
for another day. Instruct 
children to handle flowers 
gently. Do not let them crush 
or crumple them. 


Activity 

Give flowers and let children 
shred the petals. Let children 
fill in the rangoli designs with 
the petals and small leaves. 
This activity will be 
interesting and colourful. 

Variation I 

Children can also use other 
materials like sand, shells, 
small seeds, pebbles etc., 
which can be arranged along 
the lines of the rangoli 
patterns, or used to fill up the 
spaces. 

Variation II 

Demonstrate how the powder 
should be spread on the 
rangoli pattern with only the 
fore finger and thumb. Let 
children fill the powder in the 
designs. 


FINGER PAINTING 


50 


Play Acti vi ties for Child Development 



Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To express their feelings freely 

To develop finger and hand 
muscles 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

Colour powder, maida paste, 
paper, water, old serving 
trays, plastic trays, or a 
surface that can be washed 
easily. 

Preparation 

To make the maida paste of a 
semisolid consistency, take a 
tablespoon of maida in half a 
cup of water, mix and cook on 
a low flame. 

Attention 

Wearing an apron will, protect 
the children's clothes. Then 
make children wash their 
hands properly. If the activity 
is done on any flat surface, 
like a stone floor out of doors, 
the paste and powder can be 
directly put on the surface. 


Activity 

Place a little maida paste 
and colour powder in the 
tray. Add water if the paste is 
too thick. Give each child a 
serving tray. Let the children 
spread the paste and powder 
on the tray with their hands. 
Then let them draw or make 
impressions on the spread 
out layer of paste. After the 
children have finished this, 
take a paper, cover the paste, 
press down and take an 
impression of what the 
children have drawn. 

Variation I 

After the impression of what 
the children have drawn is 
taken on the paper, children 
can stick small pieces of 
paper on their finger 
painting. 

Variation II 

A comb or notched cardboard 
drawn through the spread 
paint will give a good 
design. 



Sensory Development 


Activity No. 16 
Objective 

To develop finger muscles 
To experience the feel of clay 
To make objects 
Group size 
Medium or small 
Material 

Potters clay or clay powder, 
water 

Preparation 

Mix the clay with water to 
make dough, easy to mould 
not too wet. 

Attention 

Cleaning up, of both the 
children and the area, is an 
important need after using 
clay. Allow time for this and 
keep your cleaning gear ready. 
If the model is to be 
preserved, dry in a cool place 
for a few days and then paint 
with poster paint when dry. 

To preserve the clay, store in a 
large pot or bucket. Cover it 
with a wet cloth and keep 
moist by regularly sprinkling 
water on it. If the clay dries up 
and becomes hard, pound it 
into powder and remix with 
water. 


Activity 

Divide children into small 
groups and make them sit in 
small circles. Distribute a 
generous amount of clay to 
each child. Give each child a 
piece of cardboard, thickly 
folded newspaper or if 
possible a tray or board to 
work on. Ask the children to 
mould the clay into shapes. 
Let them first explore the feel 
of the clay by rolling, 
pressing, squeezing in 
different ways to make 
different shapes. The children 
will make simple shapes like 
balls, discs, long cylinders etc. 
Name these - Iaddu, dosa, 
chapati, snake etc. and help 
the children to imagine more 
shapes. Join some of the 
simple ones to make exciting 
new ones. 

Variation 

Give out small spoons, sticks, 
match sticks etc. with which 
the children can sculpt the 
clay as they like and make 
models. 





52 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 17 
Objective 

To experience the feel of sand 

To develop eye-hand 
co-ordination 

To express feelings 

To create shapes 

Group size 
Medium or small 

Materials 

Clean riverbed/sea sand. 
Accessories for sand play 
include cups and containers 
of various shapes and sizes, 
coconut shells, sieves, 
spoons, spades, sticks and 
digging tools, besides pebbles, 
stones, leaves, flowers, sticks 
and other objects for 
decoration. 

Preparation 

Wet some area of the sand, 
and provide a little water. 

Attention 

Supervise to see that children 
do not put sand in their 
mouths or eyes or on other 
children. Cleaning up of 
children and the sandpit, and 
collecting the accessories is an 
important activity after sand 
play. 


Activity 

Let children play in the sand 
with cups/spades etc. to make 
sand cakes, mountains, houses 
etc. as they like. Let them use 
their imagination and plan in 
groups. You can make 
suggestions and encourage 
free talk. 

Variation I 

Give both dry and wet sand, 
and let them play. Discuss the 
differences between dry and 
wet sand and give containers 
of different shapes, coconut 
shells and sieves to play with. 

Variation II 

Let children collect sticks, 
stones, and leaves or use toys 
to arrange models and scenes 
made by them. Let them 
describe what they have built. 












WATER 


Sensor)' Development 



Activity No. 18 
Objective 

To experience the feel of water 

To learn about the properties 
of water 

Group size 

Small or medium 

Materials 

Clean water in a large tub. 
Accessories include small 
mugs, containers of various 
sizes, straws, tubes, funnels, 
and sieves. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Use plastic aprons if possible 
and have a towel to dry the 
children. Spare clothes may 
be needed if they get wet. 

Have the water play outdoors 
so that the room is not made 
wet or dirty, and cleaning and 
drying becomes fast and easy. 
Care should be taken that the 
children do not drink the soap 
water. 


Activity 

Let the children play in the 
water by pouring, filling, 
splashing, floating, stirring, 
and so on. 

Variation I 

Give children a large jug and a 
cup. Make children fill the jug 
and count the number of cups 
of water needed to fill it. 

Variation II 

% 

Give some transparent bottles 
and ask children to pour one 
cup of water in each bottle. 
Talk about the different levels 
of water. 

Variation III 

Provide children some cloth 
and soap and make them 
wash clothes and put to dry. 

Variation IV 

Provide a small watering can. 
Make children water plants. 

Variation V 

Give two tubs of water, one 
with cold and the other with 
warm water. Let children play 
and experience the different 
temperatures. 

Variation VI 

Make a solution of soap with 
water. Give children drinking 
straws and make them blow 
bubbles. 


54 



Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 19 

Objective 

To learn to thread 

To develop eye-hand 
co-ordination 

To learn to arrange in a 
pattern 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

Thick thread, string or shoe 
lace, wooden beads, flowers 
or leaves, empty thread 
spools, hand-made beads of 
clay or paper. 

Preparation 

To make threading easy for 
the children, dip the end of 
the string or thread in maida 
paste or glue and dry. This 
will make it stiff and easy for 
the children to handle. 

To make magazine paper 
beads, cut a sheet of paper 
into four strips, tapering one 
end of the strip. Roll the strips 
on a stick/ knitting needle, 
starting from the broad side 
of the strip. Roll to the end 
and stick the narrow end to 
form a bead. Remove from 
stick/needle and let it dry. 
Make enough for children to 
thread. 


Activity 

Seat children in a circle with 
all the objects in the centre. 
Give each child a string. Ask 
children to make a necklace 
with the beads/leaves etc., 
copying the pattern on the 
board that you have already 
drawn. After the children 
have mastered the copying of 
your patterns, encourage 
children to make their own 
patterns. 

Variation I 

To make the game more 
interesting, give other 
materials to thread, such as 
cigarette packs or empty 
thread spools or pieces of 
cardboard with a hole in the 
centre or soft drink bottle 
covers with a hole pierced in 
the centre. 

Variation II 

Make beads from magazine 
paper and give to children for 
threading and making 
patterns. 



THE FIVE SENSES 


Sensory Development 


55 


Activity No. 20 

Objective 

To introduce the five senses 

To understand the use of the 
senses 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Two wooden blocks for each 
child. 

Chart paper and magazines. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

If the child places the rose in 
the 'eye' column and the ice 
cream in the 'nose' column 
ask for reasons. Allow for such 
individual choices. 


Activity 

Seat children around a table, 
and talk about the five senses. 
Make children point to their 
eyes, ears, nose, mouth, 
fingers and talk about them. 
Now give each child two 
wooden blocks. Explain that 
these blocks will help in 
discovering their senses. Ask 
the children to use their 
blocks to experience the sense 
of seeing, hearing, smelling, 
tasting and touching. 

Variation 

Draw a table on a chart paper 
with five columns. Draw a 
picture in each column to 
represent different senses. 
Give children old magazines 
and scissors and let them cut 
out pictures, which relate to 
these senses. Then let them 
take turns and stick their 
picture in the appropriate 
column e.g. rose - in the nose 
column and ice cream in the 
mouth column. 


QO 



To help children develop cognitive skills, one should have an 
understanding of children's thinking abilities and the processes 
by which they learn to think. 

Thinking skills 

The basic processes of thinking, or cognitive skills, are the gradual 
development of the following abilities: 

• to discriminate through the five senses, sight, hearing, touch, 
smell and taste 

• to recognise and match similar things 

• to identify, name and match objects 

• to seriate (i.e.), arrange in order along any one dimension 

• to observe, remember and recall 

• to classify on the basis of concepts or dimensions, e.g. shape 
or colour 

• to repeat a pattern or to make a logical sequence, e.g. games of 
repeating patterns, or recalling events and stories in correct 
sequence, and 

• to solve problems and reason, e.g. solving puzzles and mazes. 

According to Piaget, the development of thinking ability in all 
children progresses through four stages as shown in Box: 3. The 
timing and pace at which they move through these stages may 
vary from child to child. 

Children's cognitive abilities 

Some of the cognitive abilities and skills that children aged 3-5 years 
acquire are : 

• Taking another person's perspective - children at this stage are 
egocentric in thinking, that is, they think of only themselves 
and cannot understand that the other person can look at the 
same things in a different way and arrive at different 
conclusions. 

• Matching - three and four year olds can match identical objects 
from a collection of objects, can discriminate between same 
and different, and understand the concepts of similarity and 
difference. 


Cognitive Development 


57 


Box; 3 


Stage of 

Cognitive 

Development 



Characteristics 


Sensory-motor 





Si. 


Pre - 

operational 


Concrete 

operational 


Formal 

operational 




In this stage, thinking is based 
on sensory input and bodily 
motion. 


;2-7y^B r 

mmmm 







Now, children develop symbolic 
thinking and language. 

Children develop symbolic 
thinking. 

Children use heuristic language 

Next, children deal with logical 
process, using the simple forms 
of classification and with the 
help of concrete objects 

Last, children can reason 
logically and think abstractly 




*TT| -U. iT . V “ ^ *. X* /. 

m 







• Identify common relations - young children can identify 
common properties, or a relationship between two objects 
which are not identical e.g. chair and table, comb and hair 

• Conservation - being able to understand that the quantity or 
the amount of a certain substance remains the same even if its 
shape is changed, or if it is transferred from one container to 
another so long as nothing is added to or subtracted from it. 
Children below five years usually do not have the ability to 
conserve. 

• Classification or grouping - being able to put an assortment of 
objects into different groups, sets or classes, based on some 
property or properties which all the objects in that set have in 
common e.g. the same colour, the same shape etc. Four to six- 
year-olds are able to systematically sort and group objects. 

• Seriation - the ability to arrange items in an order of increasing 
or decreasing size. Three to five-year-olds are not able to seriate 
more than four objects. Seriation fosters the understanding of 


58 


Play Activities for Child Development 


the concept of number and helps the child learn the 
relationships among numbers. 

• Cause and effect relationships - conveys an understanding to 
the children that there is an order in things, that they can act 
upon objects and make things happen. 

Recent research has shown that children can develop these abilities 
earlier and faster if the tasks are simple, clues are given and all 
distractions removed. It is also in these years that children learn 
many new concepts, from everyday happenings and things they 
see around them. Understanding abstract concepts of number, 
time, space is difficult for young children and a complete 
understanding of these concepts develops only during middle 
childhood years. 

In organising play activities to develop these abilities and skills, 
one must know that some of these activities can be conducted for 
only one child at a time. Most activities can be carried out either 
in small groups of three to five children; or in medium size groups, 
of ten to twelve children. There are also games that can be played 
by the whole group. Some of these games need no equipment at 
all, others need a few simple articles. It is worthwhile to make a 
collection of objects, which can be used for such play activities, 
especially for children to count, match, classify and arrange. Items 
such as twigs, shells, sticks, beads, leaves, stones, seeds, and 
matchboxes can be collected. Other simple things like dominoes, 
dice and picture cards can easily be made. 


SORTING BY SIZE 


Cognitive Development 


59 


Activity No. 1 
Objective 

To identify little and big 
objects. 

To sort objects by size. 

Group Size 

Medium 

Materials 

Several small buttons (all 
same size) and several big 
buttons (all same size) 

A small box and a big box. 

Pairs of objects - one small 
and one big of each, like 
boxes, balls, toys, cars, dolls, 
plastic bottles, buttons. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Select the boxes and the 
buttons so that their 
differences in sizes can readily 
be seen by children. If 
children find it difficult to 
sort into boxes, they can do it 
on the table at first. 


Activity 

Spread all the buttons out in 
front of the children and talk 
about the sizes of the buttons. 
Let them identify the small 
and big buttons by feeling 
them and picking them up. 

Variation I 

Give two boxes one small and 
the other big and make 
children sort the buttons and 
place them in appropriate 
boxes. Each child could be 
given a small and a big box 
and some buttons so that 
they sort by themselves. 

Variation II 

The activity can be repeated 
with other materials like 
small/big pebbles, washers, 
screws, crayons, leaves etc. 

Variation III 

Ask children to walk around 
the school indoors and 
outdoors to collect small and 
big objects and place them in 
appropriate boxes. 





GUESS WHAT 


60 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To acquire problem solving 
skills 

To leam new words. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Picture cards of single objects 
like an elephant, a fan, a chair, 
a cart, a tree etc. 

(see Appendix) 


Activity 

Seat the children in a 
semicircle. Show the children 
the picture cards and discuss 
the specific properties and 
characteristics of the objects in 
each picture, e.g. describe the 
elephant as a large black 
animal with a trunk. After 
discussing all the pictures, 
cover the pictures or keep 
them face down. Now pick 
out one of the pictures and 
without showing to the 
children describe the picture. 
The children must guess the 
picture only with the clues 
you give them. 

Variation 



In this game you select a class 
of objects like food or animals 
and play it without pictures or 
objects. Start describing and 
giving hints about object and 
let the children guess the 
object, e.g. food - rice - it is 
white and when it is cooked 
it becomes soft, we eat it 
with curry and curds. 

Or, bread - it is square, 
we eat it with jam etc. 


Cognitive Development 


61 


Activity No. 3 
Objective 

To leam to pair objects 
To leam new words 


To develop memory 
Group size 
Small 
Materials 


Pairs of all kinds of picture 
cards like objects, shapes 
colours, animals, fruits etc. 
You will need 24 pairs of 
cards for a group of four 
children to play this game. 
Use old playing cards and 
paste the pictures on them. 
Four Bingo boards-each 
board should be a large 
cardboard divided into six 
columns, wide enough to 
place one card on it. 


Activity 

Separate the pairs of cards 
into two packs, each pack 
having one of the same cards. 
Make the children sit on the 
floor in four groups. 

Distribute one pack, giving six 
cards and one bingo board to 
each group. Place the other 
pack in the centre. The 
children must arrange their six 
cards on the Bingo board in 
front of them. Now pick a 
card from the pack in the 
centre and show it to the 
children. The group who has 
the pair of that card calls out 
the name of the object and 
claims the card. Go on 
drawing cards from the pack 
in the centre until all the cards 
are over and all the Bingo 
boards in front of each group 
are complete. 



62 Play Acti vities for Child Development 


Activity No. 4 

Objective 

To learn to match numbers. 

Group size 

Small 

Material 

Number cards 0 -10 

Domino cards with dots and 
numbers 

0 - 10 (4 sets) 

Preparation 

To make domino cards, see 
Appendix 

Attention 

Children must be given 
enough practice. Assist if 
they still find it difficult. 
Match boxes, old visiting 
cards or old playing cards are 
good alternatives. 



Activity 

Four children can play this 
game. Each child gets a set of 
number cards and domino 
cards. The children have to 
match the number cards either 
with the dots or the numerals 
on the domino card. 

Variation I 

Stack the number cards and 
domino cards separately. 

Then call out a number. The 
children must pick out that 
number card and the 
matching domino card and 
place them together. The 
matching could be with the 
dots or with the numerals. 

Variation II 

To be played in small groups. 
Each child should have a set 
of 10 domino cards. Put one 
card on the floor. Ask a child 
to place the next one on either 
end of the card to match with 
the number or the dots on the 
card. The next child matches 
the next card. Like this 
children make a long chain of 
matching cards. The line can 
grow at both ends. 

Variation III 

This could be an individual 
activity. Let the child arrange 
all the dominoes in a 
sequence. 



THE RIGHT PARTNER 


Cognitive Development 


63 




Activity No. 5 

Objective 

To learn to pair objects 

To learn the names of related 
words 

To make decisions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 


Ten pairs of objects or picture 
cards like lock/key, bat/ball, 
cup/saucer, needle/thread, 
shoes/socks, bucket/mug, 
chalk/slate, pencil/rubber. 

Preparation 

Nil 


Attention 

In some cases, several answers 
could be correct. You may 
have to explain to the children 
what exactly is pairing by 
pairing some cards yourself. If 
the child makes a mistake, 
give another try. 


Activity 

Ask children to sit in a 
semicircle. Place objects or 
cards in front of you on the 
floor. Pick one object. Call out 
to a child to come and pair the 
object, e.g. if you show a lock, 
the child has to say the work 
'key' and come and pick up 
the 'key' card. Let the other 
children decide whether the 
answer is correct. Use 
familiar objects at first, 
gradually moving to more 
difficult ones. 

Variation 

Sit in a circle and discuss a 
number of related words like 
cow/calf, pencil/paper. Then 
form two teams and let them 
face each other in two rows. 
Give out pairs of cards, one to 
the first team and the related 
card to the other team. The 
first child from each team 
calls out a word. The child's 
partner in the opposite team 
must give an associated word 
in reply. Let the children 
themselves decide if it is 
correct. 


MATCH AND MISMATCH 


64 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 6 

Objective 

To match objects that are alike 

To identify objects that are 
different 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Two small balls, two wooden 
blocks, two cups and two 
small toys like cars. Each pair 
should be identical in size and 
colour. 

Preparation 

Put one ball, one car, a block 
and a cup into the box and 
keep aside. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle on 
the floor. Show the ball and 
talk about it. Roll it up and 
down from one child to the 
other. Now do the same with 
the cup. Bring the box with 
the other cup, ball and other 
objects and ask children to 
look into the box and pick out 
a cup and ball similar to the 
one they have. Discuss how 
objects are similar and also 
help identify objects that are 
different e.g. wooden block 
and a cup. 

Variation I 

Increase the difficulty of the 
task by matching paired 
objects like spoon/fork, cup/ 
saucer, shoes/socks. 

Variation II 

Play a game by making 
children find objects in a room 
which match the picture cards 
you have - chair, table, book, 
pen. You could set up objects 
for matching within the child's 
line of vision. 

Variation III 

Ask one child to close her/his 
eyes and place two objects 
side by side. The child has to 
open her/his eyes and say 
whether the objects are alike 
or different. 



MISSING PICTURES 


Cognitive Development 


65 



Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To name pictures of objects 
that have been removed from 
view. 

To develop memory. 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Picture cards of common 
objects like a foot, a pair of 
socks, a pair of shoes, an 
elephant, a chair etc. 

Preparation 

To make picture cards see 
Appendix 


Activity 

Put three pictures on the table 
show the children the pictures 
and name the items in them. 
Make one child shut her/his 
eyes. Take away one picture, 
taking care not to shift the 
other two. Then let the child 
open her eyes and name the 
missing picture. Begin with 
pictures that are very 
different, like elephant, shoes 
and car. As the children 
improve this skill, use 
pictures that are similar in 
appearance like three different 
types of shoes. 

Variation 1 

Play the game but use five 
pictures and remove two. 

Variation II 

Let children play the game in 
pairs or in groups of three or 
four. 

Variation III 

Show three to four cards 
which are in sequence, e.g. a 
story in four cards. Then 
remove one and let children 
guess and describe the 
missing picture. 



WHICH IS FASTER? 


66 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To understand and use the 
words, fast and faster, slow 
and slower. 

To learn that objects move at 
different speeds 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Puppets or soft toys of a 
rabbit and a tortoise. Picture 
cards of vehicles such as 
tricycle, car, motorcycle, truck, 
train, buses etc. To make the 
puppets, see Appendix. 

Preparation 

Read the story "The Rabbit 
and the Tortoise". Repeat the 
story till the children know 
the story well. 


Activity 

Introduce the characters in the 
story. Make children imitate 
the movements of a rabbit and 
the tortoise and move fast and 
slow across the room. Tell the 
story using the puppets. 
Discuss with the children the 
movement of fast and slow, 
and faster and slower. 

Variation 

Place the toys or puppets of 
the two animals, on the table, 
a little apart. Say that the 
rabbit is Mr. Fast and the 
tortoise is Mr. Slow. Now 
distribute the picture cards of 
the vehicles to the children. 

Let them take turns to place 
the card either near the rabbit 
or the tortoise and give 
reasons for their choice, e.g. 
Tricycle is placed near the 
tortoise because it is a slow 
vehicle and the car is placed 
near the rabbit because it is a 
fast moving vehicle. 



MYSTERY GAME 


Cognitive Development 


67 



Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To increase memory power 

To make decisions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Small objects like pencil, 
rubber, chalk, blocks, cup etc., 
a cloth to cover the objects. 

Preparation 

Lay out the assortment of 
articles on a table. 

Attention: 

Start with just 2 or 3 objects 
and gradually increase the 
number to make the activity 
more challenging. 


Activity 

Show the children the objects 
for a few minutes. Then cover 
the objects with a cloth. Ask 
one child to guess the number 
of objects under the cloth. 
Then the whole group can 
check the answer. Ask 
questions about the hidden 
objects, like which is the 
biggest? Which is the shortest? 
What is its colour? And what 
is its use? 

Variation 

Display five or six objects on 
the table and have children 
name them. Choose one child 
as the detective and ask her/ 
him to go out. Then remove 
one of the objects and hide 
from view. When the 
detective comes back, give 
her/him a magnifying glass, 
and ask her/him to detect the 
missing object. Continue the 
activity till all the children 
have had a chance of being 
the detective. 


68 


Play Activities tor Child Development 


Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To arrange in a sequence 

To learn the sequence of 
numbers 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Number cards, 1-10 

3 to 5 cards of objects in 
graded sizes e.g. ducks, balls 
etc. 

To make the cards, see 
Appendix. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

The cards can be numbered 
from 1-10 and for older 
children 1-20 


Activity 

Seat children in a circle. Give 
out the cards to be seriated to 
the children e.g. 3 ducks and 
ask children to arrange 
according to the size big, 
medium and small. Use more 
than three objects when the 
children have understood the 
game. 

Variation 

Ask the children to sit in a 
circle. Shuffle the number 
cards and place them in the 
centre face down. The first 
child picks a card, calls out 
the number and places the 
card face up. Then the next 
child picks the next card and 
places it in sequence, e.g. If 
the first child has picked the 
number 3 and the next child 
has picked 4, then she/he must 
place the second card next 
to 3. If it is not in series it 
should be placed in another 
line. Then the next child picks 
a card and tries to place it in 
sequence. The sequencing can 
either go forwards or 
backwards. Continue around 
the circle till all the children 
get a chance. 


SHADOW P 


Cognitive Development 


69 




Activity No. 11 

Objective 

To know the difference 
between shade and light. 

To play together 

To follow rules of the game 

Group Size 

Large 

Material 

Chalk to draw the shadows. 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Cast your shadow on the 
ground or on the wall on a 
sunny day. Try to run away 
from the shadow. Make 
children imitate you. Let them 
understand and find out for 
themselves that the shadows 
are always on one side and the 
light on the opposite side of 
their body. 

Variation I 

Make the children stand near 
a wall on a sunny day where 
their shadows fall on the wall. 
Let them stand still and draw 
the outline of their shadow. 

Let children make different 
shapes with their bodies and 
hands. Ask them to draw the 
outlines of these too. Let them 
move and see what happens 
to the outline. 

Variation II 



Choose an area during the 
morning when there is both 
sunlight and shade in the 
playground. Select a child as 
'it' to catch the other children. 
When he/she calls out 'shade' 
the children must run to a 
shady place. The child who is 
in the sunlight is out. That 
child must call out the next 
'shade' or 'sunlight' and catch 
the other children. 


70 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To arrange in order of size 
To learn to count. 

To follow instructions. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Small baskets for all the 
children to collect things from 
a nature walk. e.g. sticks, 
stones, leaves. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Be sure that there are definite 
differences in the properties 
of the objects used in the 
game. 


Activity 

Take the children out for a 
nature walk. Ask children to 
collect a certain number of 
objects e.g. five dry leaves, six 
green leaves, three round 
stones etc. When the children 
come into the class each child 
must display the things 
collected. The rest of the 
children can count to see if the 
right number of objects have 
been collected. 

Variation I 

From the collection of the 
nature walk, select three sticks 
of different lengths, three 
stones of different sizes, three 
leaves of different shapes. 

Ask children to sit in a circle. 
Call children in turn to 
arrange these objects in order, 
e.g. stones from smallest to 
largest, sticks from shortest to 
longest, leaves from lightest to 
darkest and dry to greenest. 

Variation II 

When the children have 
mastered how to arrange in 
order, use more objects like 
five, six, or seven of the same 
kind but of varying size, 
shape or tone of the colour to 
make the game more 
challenging 








THINGS TO DO WITH TREES 


Cognitive Development 


71 


Activity No. 13 Activity 


Objective 

To learn concepts through 
trees 

To appreciate nature 

To understand the importance 
of trees in human life 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Pencil and paper, basket or 
box to collect material 

Preparation 

Display pictures of trees on 
the display board 


Take children for a nature 
walk. Show them and name as 
many trees as you can while 
you are walking along. Let 
them make an inventory of the 
trees that they see. Let them 
touch the trees and collect 
materials of the trees, like 
leaves, barks, twigs, seeds etc. 
After the walk display the 
material and talk about it. 
Some of the questions that 
you could use for discussion 
are - "How many trees did 
you see? What were their 
shapes? Which two trees were 
distinctly different in shape? 
Draw them in your drawing 
books". Other questions for 
discussion could be on colour, 
texture and uses. You must 
give correct information 
whenever necessary. 

Variation I 


Let children draw and paint a 
mural of trees and display it 
in the class. 


Variation II 

Encourage the children to tell 
stories about trees or teach 
them a poem about trees. 



72 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To understand the concept of 
floating and sinking 

To make judgement 

To develop the ability to 
categories 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Small objects of all kinds like 
blocks of wood, paper clips, 
cork, paper, stones, keys etc. 
A small tub or a container for 
water. 

Preparation 

Nil 



Activity 

Give children a tub of water 
and the objects. Let them 
drop in the objects one at a 
time and determine which 
float and which sink. Lead a 
discussion on why an object 
sinks or floats in water. 

Variation I 

In this game let the children 
first discuss and guess which 
are the objects that will float 
and which will sink. After the 
discussion, they can put in 
one object after the other to 
see if their guess is correct. 

Variation II 

Draw two circles on the 
ground and label them as 
floating and sinking circles. 
Let the children take turns to 
put one object at a time into a 
tub of water to see whether it 
floats or sinks and place it in 
the right circle, classifying 
them as floating or sinking 
objects. 

Variation III 

Teach children to make simple 
paper boats. Ask children to 
float them in the water. Let 
them drop small pebbles in to 
the boat to see the number of 
pebbles the boat can hold 
before it sinks. 


FILLING THE BOTTLES 


Cognitive Development 


73 



Activity No. 15 

Objectives 

To learn to estimate 

To develop problem solving 
skills 

To observe the relationship of 
sizes. 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Small transparent plastic 
bottles with a wide mouth, of 
different sizes. Wooden beads 
of the same size or other 
objects like large seeds, 
marbles, pebbles of the same 
size can be used. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Give each child a plastic bottle 
and a few beads. Let the 
children put in the beads to 
fill the bottle. Then let them 
take out and count the beads. 
Let the children discuss who 
has more beads and who has 
the bigger bottle and draw 
their own conclusions. 

Variation 1 

Give a child an empty bottle 
and let her/him at first guess 
the number of beads that may 
fit into the bottle. Then let the 
child put in the number that 
was decided and see if the 
bottle is full. If it is not full 
she/he can guess how many 
more beads are required and 
then put them in. If her/his 
guess is more than the 
required beads she/he can 
count the number of extra 
beads. Let all the children get 
turns to put in the beads and 
also guess the number of 
beads that their bottles would 
hold. 



74 



Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To perceive details 

To acquire problem solving 
skills 

To manipulate and organise 
parts of a picture 

Group size 

Small 

Material 

Collect large clear coloured 
pictures from newspapers/ 
magazines (If possible two 
identical ones) thick 
cardboard, and transparent 
polythene bags to store pieces. 

Preparation 

Paste the pictures on thick 
card boards. Then cut the 
pictures into 3,4 or 5 pieces, 
to make the puzzles. 

Attention 

Help the children in the 
beginning to reason out the 
position of the pieces of the 
puzzle. 


Activity 

Seat the children around a 
table or on the ground. Give 
each child a puzzle and help 
them fit the puzzle, first on 
top of the identical picture. 
When the children have 
mastered this they can fit the 
puzzle together but using the 
picture only as a guide. Start 
with three piece puzzles and 
then progress to four or more 
pieces gradually. 

Variation I 

Children can make their own 
puzzles. Give a large picture to 
colour or paint. These pictures 
can be mounted on 
cardboard. Then cut into 
pieces to form a puzzle. 

Variation II 

Use other materials and 
pictures to make different 
types of puzzles. 

• Use rough and smooth 
surfaces, like sand paper 
and marble papers. 

• Large photographs 

• Old calendar pictures 



COMPLETE A PERSON 


Cognitive Development 


75 


Activity No. 17 

Objective 

To identify the missing body 
parts in a picture 

To draw a simple human 
figure 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Blackboard and chalk, paper 
and crayons 

Preparation 

Make a worksheet for each 
child. Draw a line in the 
middle of the paper. Draw 
half of a man as shown in the 
illustration 

Attention 

Accuracy of the drawing is 
not as important as the child's 
ability to visually place the 
missing half of the body 


Activity 

Draw a line in the middle of a 
blackboard. Draw one half of 
a person as shown in the 
illustration. Ask children to 
watch while you draw the 
other half, naming the parts as 
you draw in the missing parts. 
You could also call children to 
fill in the missing parts. 

Variation 

Distribute the worksheets and 
crayons to the children. Let 
children complete their 
picture and colour them. 


DESIGNS 


76 


Play Activities for Child Development 








Activity No. 18 

Objective 

To reproduce patterns 

To form geometrical shapes 

To develop visual perception 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Chart paper, sketch pens or 
paints 

Preparation 

Cut chart paper into large 
squares 15 x 15 cms. and small 
squares 5x5 cms. Colour 
them as follows - make 10 
blank, 10 fully coloured, and 
10 half coloured. 



Activity 

Give children the large 
squares (15 x 15 cms.). 

Make them create designs on 
the floor by placing them in 
different ways. 

Variation I 

Suggest some designs by 
illustrating on the black 
board, felt board or the design 
itself. Give children the 
squares and let them copy 
your design. 

Variation II 

Encourage children to make 
geometrical shapes with the 
squares. Let them try to make 
squares, rectangles and 
crosses. 

Variation III 

Size concepts can be taught 
using the squares. Let 
children make a large square 
out of 4 small squares, or 
cover a large square with nine 
of the small squares. 



INDKTONS 


Cognitive Development 


77 


Activity No. 19 

Objectives 

To learn to categories 

To take decisions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Make children sit in a circle. 
Call out directions such as, 
"All those who are wearing 
something red stand up." 

"All the girls stand up." 
"Those who washed their 
hands clap." The children 
must decide for themselves to 
do the action. Those who act 
at the wrong time sit down 
and watch. 

Variation I 

Sing the song 

"What are you wearing 
today?" 

What are you wearing? 

What are you wearing? 

What are you wearing today? 

If you are wearing red 
stand up 

If you are wearing red 
turn around 

If you are wearing red 
take a bow 

If you are wearing red 
sit down. 

(sing the song for other 
colours the children are 
wearing). 

Variation II 

Play the same game with tall 
and short children or with 
girls and boys. 



SENSITIVE PUPPET 


78 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 20 

Objective 

To identify the parts of the 
body and their functions 

To understand the five 
senses 

To develop artistic abilities 

Group size 

Small 

Material 

Small paper bags for each 
child, coloured paper, chart 
paper, crayons, scissors, 
paste or gum 

Preparation 

Nil 



Activity 

Begin by reviewing the five 
senses with the children. 

Then tell the children that 
they are going to make 
puppets that can do all these 
things. Distribute the material 
and do the activity step by 
step together. Ask the 
question, "If you want your 
puppet to see, what must you 
give it?" After the children 
answer, give them paper to cut 
out eyes and help to paste 
them on the paper bag. In the 
same way, ask questions about 
hearing, tasting, smelling and 
feeling, and helpt the children 
to cut out and paste ears, 
mouth, nose, hands and legs 
on the paper bag. When the 
whole puppet is assembled 
discuss each part of the body. 
See that each child's puppet is 
different. Let children colour 
or decorate their puppets in 
their own way. 

Variation 

Help children put up a puppet 
show using the puppets they 
have made. They may act out 
a story or a rhyme about the 
five senses. 



Language development begins at birth and grows with amazing 
speed and complexity. In all cultures, the infant who communicates 
only through cries at birth learns in about three years to use her/ 
his first language for several purposes. 

Levels of language 

There are two levels of language - comprehension or receptive 
use, related to listening and reading and production or expressive 
use related to speaking and writing. The former is always ahead 
of the latter. A one year old speaking his/her first word may 
understand 20-50 words, a two year old with an 'active' vocabulary 
of hundred words may understand five or six hundred, while a 3 
year old may have a command of a 1000 words in the first 
language. 

Both levels develop from birth. The new bom, exposed to different 
sounds from birth seems to prefer the human voice, and goes 
from recognising the mother's voice in a few days to discriminating 
sounds at one month and associating sounds (and tones of voice) 
with meaning by three months. He/she then begins to understand 
simple utterances and responds by various actions. 

Production of sounds progresses from the newborn's rhythmic 
cry to diverse kinds of cries and sounds from cooing (2-3 months) 
to gurgling and babbling (pre - speech sounds) from 6 to 9 months. 

Communication through a combination of verbal and non-verbal 
means enables a child to carry on a 'conversation' or 'dialogue' 
long before, he/she can speak. This 'proto-language' is a 
combination of gestures, movements, smiles, facial expressions, 
sounds, introductions and actions. 



At one year, the child uses the single word sentence to name, 
question, command, greet or express a need or feeling. In the 
second year two-word (later three - word) sentences are used to 
relate events, express relations, name and label and express 
feelings. In the third year, the child learns different structures, 
combines words by using grammatical rules, links sentences, uses 
connecting words and question words and begins to use the past 
and future tense. 


80 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Children an 
growing In 
their ability 
to use 
language In 
moreand 


more 

complex, 

expressive 

:v L 

meaningful 

if ways ■ 


Functions of Language 

Language development cannot be measured only by the growth 
of vocabulary, especially as children know many more words than 
they use. It is more important to see whether children are growing 
in their ability to use language in more and more complex, 
expressive and meaningful ways to perform various functions. 

What are these basic functions? 

• instrumental (to get what you want / need) 

• regulatory (to command or alter other's behaviour) 

• personal (to express feelings / thoughts) 

• interpersonal (to relate to others) 

• heuristic (to explore and learn) 

• imaginative (to explore alternatives beyond the here and now) 

• informative (to convey information) 

By three, the child can perform the first six and between three and 
five learns to do so more thoroughly and skillfully and also to do 
the seventh. 


As 3 - 5 year olds grow in skills, they should be able to do some 
of the following language functions (Box 4) with fluency, clarity, 
richness and accuracy and effectively communicate meaning. 

Box: 4 



listen / describe 
things 

give directions 


narrate events in 
sequence 


ask questions 
express feelings, 
wants and needs 


play with sounds 

a • * m m 

use words j 
correctly; ■ 


follow instructions 

communicate ideas 

comprehend longer 
and more complex 
utterances 

pronounce clearly 


imagine possibilities discriminate and 



Language Development 


81 



Practice in 
language, 
like: talking 
and listening 
- singing 
songs and 
rhymes ■ 
stories - 
playing with 
puppets ■ free 
conversation - 
picture 
reading 
dramatic and 
role play and 
others 


How a child learns language 

■ 

The child learns language by: 

• listening 

• imitation 

• repetition and practice of conversation 

• appreciation and encouragement by others 
So what can you do to assist the child to learn? 

Listening 

Children should be given frequent opportunities to hear language. 
Teachers must be a model of good, proper and clear speech. 
Talking to the children frequently, individually and in groups, 
about everyday matters and experiences will enrich their language 
and encourage them to listen. 

Speaking 

Do not expect children to sit quietly or be silent for long periods. 
They need opportunity to speak. They should be allowed to talk 
to each other as they play. Encourage them to talk and ask 
questions. Some time should be set aside every day for free 
conversation. Use of 'first' language will help children gain 
confidence. 

Encouragement 

Every child deserves freedom to express himself or herself. Praise 
and encouragement at their effort will go a long way in helping 
them to be effective communicators. 


f 




1 

v 

* 

t 

k 

? 

t 

*• 

I! 

r 

t • 
** 



Many activities can be planned to give children practice in 
language, like: talking and listening - singing songs and rhymes - 
stories - playing with puppets - free conversation - picture reading 
dramatic and role play and others. As children approach six 
years, some special activities to help read and write can be 
introduced. 



HOT AND COLD 


82 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity 

Send one child out of the 
room. The rest of the children 
hide an object in some part of 
the room. When the child 
comes back, the only clue they 
must give is, "hot"- to show 
that the child is close to the 
object and "cold"- to show far. 
They can also show how near 
or how far by saying - hot, 
hotter, hottest or cold, colder, 
coldest. The children can help 
the child to move in the right 
direction. When the child 
finds the object, another child 
goes out and the group hides 
the object again in another 
place. 

Variation 

One child goes out of the 
room and the rest of the 
children hide an object some- 
where in the room. Then the 
child is called back. The other 
children must give clues about 
where the object is hidden e.g. 
it is inside something brown, 
near the door etc., but should 
try not to look in the direction 
where the object is hidden. 
Continue until the object is 
found. Try to gradually reduce 
the number of clues. The 
objects to be hidden can be 
changed. 


Activity No. 1 
Objective 

To learn to listen. 

To find meanings. 

Group size 
Large 

Materials 

A small object like a block to 
hide 

Preparation 

Nil. 



MAGIC BAG 



Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To develop vocabulary and 
communication skills. 

To guess by feeling and touch 
and name objects 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

A collection of small familiar 
objects, e.g. teaspoon, chalk, 
key, bangle, ball, cup or 
natural objects like leaves, 
twigs shells, seeds, feathers 
and stones. A cardboard box 
or a cloth bag. 

Preparation 

To make feely box - Take a 
cardboard box (shoebox). 

Seal all the sides and cut a 
hole on one side big enough 
for a hand to go in. Decorate 
the box with coloured paper. 
Put the objects you have 
collected into the box. 

Attention 

Give only a few familiar 
objects at the beginning. Add 
more objects in stages to make 
the activity more challenging. 
Let there be no objects that are 
sharp that may hurt the 
children's hands. 


Language Development 83 

Activity 

Ask a child to put her/his 
hand into the box (feely box or 
magic bag) and feel an object, 
identify and call out the name. 
Then let her/him take the 
object out and show to all the 
children. Let each child take a 
turn. 

Variation I 

Ask the children to take turns 
to put their hands inside the 
box/bag, feel an object and 
name it, then describe it as 
smooth or rough, hard or soft, 
heavy or light. 

Variation II 

Play the game using only 
fruits or vegetables. Let the 
children name them as they 
feel and pickup. 

Variation III 

Play the same game, but this 
time, the child instead of 
naming the object should 
describe the object so that the 
other children can guess 
what it is. e.g. if the child feels 
a ball she can say -"it is 
smooth and round and we 
play with it". 



84 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 3 
Objective 

To identify voices. 
To listen carefully. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

To start the game each child 
has to speak briefly and every 
one must listen carefully to 
his/her voice. Let one child be 
the 'magician', and stand in 
front of the class with his/her 
back to the rest of the 
children. Let another child be 
the 'visitor'. The 'visitor' taps 
the floor behind the 
'magician' who asks, "Who is 
there?" The 'visitor' has to 
reply, "It's me, open up". The 
'magician' can take three 
chances to guess the name of 
the 'visitor'. If the guess is 
right, the 'visitor' goes back to 
his/her seat and another child 
comes as the 'visitor'. If the 
'magician' fails to guess in 
three chances, he/she sits out 
and the 'visitor' becomes the 
'magician'. To add some 
mystery to the game, the 
'magician' can chant some 
magic words that the children 
make up, with your help. 

Variation 

Instead of speaking, the 
'visitor' can sing a song and 
the 'magician' can guess who 
it is. 


SHOW AND TELL 



Activity No. 4 

Objective 

To encourage children to talk 

To share things of interest 

To enlarge vocabulary 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Make children bring from 
home objects of interest or 
you provide them with some 
e.g. a toy, a rock, a shell, a 
feather etc. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Time must be kept aside every 
day for children to share their 
experiences. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle. 

Let one child stand and show 
his/her object and talk about 
it. Encourage the children to 
talk by asking open-ended 
questions. Continue the 
game till all the children have 
had a turn. 

Variation 1 

Display all the objects the 
children have brought. Label 
the objects and let the children 
talk about the objects. 

Variation II 

Bring a surprise object (object 
in a bag) and share with the 
children. Let the children hide 
the object behind their backs 
while describing it to the other 
children, and let the others 
guess and name the object. 


86 


Activity No. 5 

Objective 

To increase vocabulary 

To discriminate sounds in a 
language 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Nil. 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle. 
Give a number of examples of 
rhyming words, e.g. ball/doll, 
cat/bat etc. Start the game by 
calling out a word. The child 
next to you must call out a 
word rhyming with yours e.g. 
when you say 'cat' the child 
next to you will say 'bat' or 
'rat'. This round can continue 
till the children have 
exhausted all the words that 
they know rhyme with 'cab. 
Then begin the next round 
with another word. Initially 
you could allow the children 
to use nonsense words that 
rhyme, but after a few times of 
playing the game, children 
should be encouraged to use 
only meaningful rhyming 
words. 



ADD A WORD 






Activity No. 6 

Objective 

To listen and repeat words 
To increase vocabulary 
To improve memory power 
To understand categories 
Group size 
Large 

Preparation 

Nil 



Language Development 87 

Activity 

Let the children sit in a circle. 
You begin the game by saying 
a word. The child sitting next 
to you must repeat your word 
and add one of his/her own 
e.g. You say - boy, the child 
next to you says - boy, girl. 

The next child says - boy, girl, 
chair and so on. Continue for 
a five to six word chain. Then 
start a fresh round. 

Variation I 

Start this time by saying "I am 
packing my bag and I need 
your help. I will put in a skirt, 
what will you put in?" 

The child next to you will say, 

"I will put in a skirt and a 
blouse." Each child in turn 
will repeat what is already 
packed and add one more 
item. Continue as long as the 
children can. 

Variation II 
Only theme words are 
allowed. Start the game like 
this, "I went to the zoo. I saw 
a tiger". The child next to 
you must say, "I went to the 
zoo. I saw a tiger, and an 
elephant", and so on. 

Variation III 

With older children, play with 
short sentences and compose 
a story. 



88 


Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To develop listening skills 

To follow directions 

To be alert 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Make the children sit or stand 
in a circle around you. Give 
directions for two or three 
different actions, which have 
to be done in the same 
sequence as you have called 
out. e.g. first touch your toes, 
then put your hands on your 
hip and then jump three 
times. Begin with two 
directions and later make it 
difficult by adding more 
directions. 

Variation 


The children stand in a 
semicircle. You call out a few 
directions e.g. jump, clap, and 
bend, touch your toes, close 
your eyes. The children must 
carry out the directions only if 
these are preceded by "Rabbit 
says". If you do not say 
"Rabbit says" then the 
children must not do the 
action. Now start giving 
directions, sometimes with 
"Rabbit says" and sometimes 
without it. Do this quickly. 
Those who do the action 
incorrectly, must sit down and 
watch. The children can be 
made to give directions in 
turns. 'Rabbit' can be replaced 
with names of other animals 
or children in the class. 





LEFT AND RIGHT 


Language Development 


89 



Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To know which is right and 
left. 

To learn the names of parts of 
the body. 

Group size 

Large group. 

Material 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Show children how to make a 
movement e.g. put right foot 
or left foot forward, or raise 
right or left arm. After the 
children have learnt to do the 
actions, call out at random 'right' 
and 'left'. The children must 
follow the instructions. If a 
child makes a mistake, she/he 
must sit out and watch. 

Continue the game as long 
as the children can. 

Variation 

Let the children form a circle 
and sing the song 'Bogey Bogey' 
doing the actions with the words. 

I put my right hand in 
(pull right hand in) 

I put my right hand out 
(stretch right hand out) 

I put my right hand in 
(pull right hand in) 

And shake it all about 
(shake hand) 

Do the bogey, bogey 
(shake the whole body) 

Turn around 
(turn one round) 

That's what its all about 
(bend forward and bring hands 
palm open to the front) 

Repeat with left hand, right 
foot, left foot, and whole self. 

Oh the bogey bogey (3 times) 
(wave hands over the head) 
That's what its all about. 

(The same action as before). 



90 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 9 
Objective 

To increase vocabulary. 
To increase memory 
To listen carefully 
To learn categories 

Group size 
Medium 
Material 
Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Let children form a circle. 

Decide on the name of class or 
family, e.g. fruit, red objects, 
food, animals etc.. Tell the 
children what you have chosen 
e.g. fruits. Ask each child in turn 
to call out the name of a fruit. 
After some practice, children 
should not repeat the name of a 
fruit already called out. Change 
the 'family' after a few rounds. 

Variation I 

The same game can be played 
in groups of 4 or 5 children. 

The team leader will call out 
the name of the family. 

Variation II 

Words starting with the same 
sound are the 'family', e.g. if 
you take the sound 'm', only 
words starting with 'm' should 
be called out. Begin the game 
by talking about words that 
start with the letter 'm' 

Variation III 

Decide on a certain family e.g. 
animals. Discuss the words, 
showing what makes them a 
family. Call out family words, 
then one that is not in the 
family, e.g. you say lion, tiger, 
monkey and chair. When 'chair' 
is called out the children must 
clap to catch the 'outsider'. 


DO AS I DO AND NOT AS I SAY 



Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To be alert and attentive to 
language 

To experience a sense of 
achievement and confidence. 

Group size 

Large group 

Material 

Nil 

Preparation: 

Nil 

Attention: 


Activity 

Ask children to form a circle. 
You stand in the middle and 
do a simple action; but while 
you are doing the action, 
describe a different action, e.g. 
while you say "I am bending 
down" - you actually wave 
your hands over your head. 
The child must do what you 
say and not what you do. The 
children who do what you are 
doing are out and sit out of 
the game. Carry on with the 
game until only one child is 
left. Let children take turns to 
be the leader. 


Play the game a few times for 
practice 



Variation 

In tliis game you call out 
actions like 'fly birdie fly', and 
all the children move their 
arms in a flying motion. Keep 
repeating these words and 
suddenly change the word to 
something that does not fly 
e.g. 'fly horse fly'. Then the 
children must stand still. Give 
instructions fast as the game 
continues and ask children 
who make mistakes to sit and 
watch others. 


WHO AM I? 


r 


92 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 11 

Objective 
To follow clues 
To increase curiosity 
To listen carefully 
To solve problems 
Group size 
Large 
Materials 

Pictures of objects or animals 
or birds that are familiar to 
children. Safety pins 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

An object or an animal picture 
is pinned on to the back of 
each child. The children must 
go around asking questions to 
find out about the picture that 
is pinned on their backs, e.g. 
They can ask questions such 
as, "Am 1 an animal?" Am I 
big or small? What is my 
colour?" etc. Clues can be 
given until the child can name 
the picture on his/her back. 
Give enough time so that all 
the children find what is on 
their back. 

Variation 

As in the first game, pin 
pictures on the backs of the 
children. In this game the 
children have to frame 
questions that only answer 
to a "Yes" or a "No", 
e.g. "Am I an object?" "No". 
"Am I an animal?" "Yes". 

"Am I black?" "Yes". 

"Am I small?" "No". 

"Do I have a trunk?" "Yes". 
"Am I an elephant?" "Yes". 

Let the game go on till all the 
children find out who they 
are. 


IVE GAME 


Language Development 93 






Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To follow clues 

To express themselves in a 
few sentences. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

A few common objects 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Your clues must be clear and 
said slowly with a pause 
between each clue. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle 
and choose one of the children 
as the detective. Describe one 
of the children in the group to 
the detective. The detective 
must find out whom you are 
describing, e.g. "1 am thinking 
of a girl in a red dress, 
wearing a yellow hair clip. 

She is wearing a bangle too". 
Keep giving clues until the 
detective finds out the child 
you are describing. Repeat 
with other children. 

Variation I 

Seat the children in a circle on 
the floor. Make one child go 
out of the room. Make another 
child to hide in the room. Call 
back the first child into the 
room. The child must look 
around the circle and name 
the missing child. Repeat the 
activity till as many children 
as possible have had turns at 
guessing. 

Variation II 

To make the game more 
challenging, have the children 
change positions in the circle. 



RIDDLES 


94 Hay Activities for Child Development 


Activity No, 13 

Objective 

To learn to reason. 

To be observant. 

To introduce comparisons. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Help children make riddles by 
giving them many clues. 


Activity 

Seat children in a semi-circle. 
Ask the children these riddles. 

"What is round and gives 
light, 

Like the moon in the night". 

"What is green like grass, 

But grows on trees" 

"What is white like sugar, 

but does not taste sweet". 

Give children time to guess. 
You can make more riddles of 
your own. 

Variation 

After the children are familiar 
with the game, divide them 
into two teams. Let one team 
ask a riddle which they have 
made up and the other team 
give the answer. Scores can 
be kept. 



TURE READING 


Language Development 


95 


* 


Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To increase vocabulary 

To enable children to speak in 
structured sentences 

To use observation and 
memory 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Picture charts 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

You can use stick figures to 
draw your pictures. 


Activity 

Make children sit in a semi 
circle. Fix a picture on a 
display board close to you so 
that all the children can see 
the picture. Show the picture 
to the children and ask 
questions related to the 
picture. Encourage children to 
talk. You could make each 
child say one or two sentences 
about the picture. 

Variation 

Draw a picture on the board. 
Ask questions related to the 
picture. Add details as the 
children give suggestions, 
e.g. a road scene. You may 
have drawn only a few 
vehicles and the children may 
suggest more. Write the 
sentences or the words that 
were discussed on the 
blackboard. Read them aloud 
after the discussion. 


STORY TELLING 


f 






96 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To improve listening and 
speaking skills 

To stimulate imagination and 
thinking 

To increase vocabulary 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Story book, flash cards, 
flannel board, cut outs, and 
puppets 

To learn about puppets, see 
Appendix 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Story telling does not need 
aids,, if you can do it with 
expression, voice modulation 
body movement and gestures. 


Activity 

Seat children comfortably 
around you so that they can 
see you and the teaching aids 
clearly. Tell them short stories 
using simple language. 
Modulate your voice carefully, 
use lots of gestures and vary 
your facial expression. Select 
stories for children's 
participation, which have lots 
of repetitive words, sounds 
and actions, or jingles. After 
narrating the story, help 
children recall the story by 
asking questions. 

Variation I 

After the children are familiar 
with the story, give them 
simple props like masks, 
sticks, shawls etc. Let children 
select characters in the story 
and dramatise the story. All 
the children can be given 
some role. 

Variation II 

Choose a story, and retell it as 
an introduction for the game. 
Now divide the children into 
groups and allot a character to 
each group. Tell the story 
slowly and let each group act 
out its part with sounds, 
words and movements. Use 
songs when- ever possible. 


LET'S ACT A STORY 


Language Development 97 


Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To develop good speech 
habits. 

To express in words 

To release emotions and to 
develop coordinated 
movement 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Big paper cutouts which can 
be held by the children with 
both hands. 

Three common objects or 
pictures as different as 
possible e.g. a tree, a pot, 
a comb. 

Preparation 

To make the paper cutouts, 
see Appendix 





Activity 

Seat the children in a semi- 
circle. Tell them a story and 
ask them to enact it. Give 
turns to children to act and let 
the rest of the class be the 
audience. Tell the audience 
that they must sit, listen and 
watch the play. Before 
starting, review the play with 
the actors giving suggestions 
on what to do and say. Give 
them a chance to use their 
imagination and create their 
own dialogues. Let them help 
you make the masks/cut-outs 
and other props for the story. 

Variation 

Make children sit far apart 
and at random. Keep a few 
things or pictures in the 
middle. Pick up one of them 
and make up a story, e.g. if 
you pick up the tree say, 

'In a jungle there was a big 
tree’. The children must act 
like a tree with suitable 
movements and sounds. 
Continue the story adding 
objects as you go on and let 
the children help to add to the 
story and to act it out. 


O 



98 


Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 17 

Objective 

To stimulate imagination 
To make up stories 
To suggest possible endings 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Flash cards of pictures of a 
story. 

Glove puppet (see Appendix) 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Seat children in a semi-circle, 
show a picture and begin a 
story, e.g. "Once upon a time 
there was a forest with many 

animals ". Then make 

children continue the story 
using their own imagination 
and sentences. Let children 
take turns to finish the story. 
When one story finishes, you 
could start another story. 

Let all the children have a 
turn to express themselves. 

Variation 

In this activity you begin a 
story with a sentence which 
invites a continuation. Then 
each child in turn adds one of 
his own. You can use a doll, a 
toy, a mask or a puppet to get 
them started. Let them 
continue until someone brings 
the story to an end. 


Language Development £ 



Activity No. 18 

Objective 

To learn to mime a familiar 
activity, like a ride on a bus 

To stimulate imagination 

To select correct vocabulary 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

A chair for each child 

A cap for the driver and a bag 
for the conductor 

Paper to make tickets and 
cardboard to make coins 

Preparation 

Arrange the chairs in two 
rows like seats in a bus. Place 
one chair in the front for the 
driver. Make some tickets and 
coins from paper and 
cardboard. 


Activity 

Gather the children informally 
in a semicircle and discuss the 
activity "a ride in a bus". 
Discuss the different roles and 
what happens on a trip in a 
bus. After the discussion say, 
"Today we are going to take a 
pretend bus ride. Where 
would you like to go". 

Then make one child the 
driver, another the conductor 
and the rest the passengers. 
Imitate the actions like getting 
into the bus, sitting down, 
buying a ticket and looking 
out of the window. After a 
short "trip" you could have a 
discussion on what they saw. 
The bus could stop at bus 
stops. 

Variation 1 

You can also have a trip on a 
train, an aeroplane, or a 
ferryboat in the same way. 

Variation II 

Take children for a real bus 
ride. After they return to the 
class, "act out" the ride. 

Discuss the safety rules of a 
bus ride. 





FINGER P 


1 00 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 19 

Objective 

To build a large vocabulary 

To use finger and hand 
movements 

To coordinate speech and 
movement 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Finger puppets of birds, (see 
Appendix) 

Preparation 

Practise and memorise finger 
play rhymes and songs before 
hand. The songs must have 
plenty of finger and hand 
movement 

Attention 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle. 
Sing a song and ask the 
children to sing with you with 
actions. Always sing the song 
as a whole, doing the actions 
with the children. Repeat the 
song every day till the 
children have learnt it. 

Variation 

Use finger or glove puppets 
when you sing the songs. 


Do the finger play 
enthusiastically focussing on 
the fun. Some children will 
just watch and will join only 
when they are ready. Each 
child learns at her own pace. 
You can sing songs in any 
language. 










Activity No. 20 
Objective 

To expand vocabulary 

To express ideas and feelings 
through movement of the 
body. 

To learn concepts like up 
and down, left and right. 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

A whistle and instruments 
for rhythm. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Language Development 

Activity 

Make children stand far apart 
spread all over the room or 
playground. Call out different 
movements like "stretch as 
tall as you can, crawl on all 
fours, roll on the ground, 
swing your body from side to 
side, move your left foot from 
left to right" The children 
have to move doing the action 
called out. Play an instrument 
for rhythm and blow a whistle 
or clap your hands to change 
the action. Vary your 
commands so that children 
learn new concepts, e.g. up 
down, left-right, fast-slow, 
heavy-light, loud-soft, strong- 
weak, over-under. Have a lot 
of variety, e.g. follow a fast 
movement with a slow one, a 
stretching movement with a 
bending one and so on. 

Variation I 

Call out definite shapes that 
they must make with their 
bodies, like "Roll like a ball, 
spread like a tree, be straight 
like a pole, sharp like a rock, 
pointed like a mountain". 

Variation II 

Ask two or three children to 
join together and form a 
shape, like an arch, a letter of 
the alphabet, or an animal. 



Social and personal development includes the development of 
good habits and behaviour, the right attitudes and sound values. 
Social development refers to relations with others, learning how 
to get along with others, learning to help, cooperate and live 
together, to lead and to follow, and learning socially acceptable 
habits and the rules of behaviour etc. while personal development 
refers to the growth of self-awareness, self-reliance, self-control 
and self-confidence in the child. 

During this period, children adopt habits, attitudes, behavioural 
patterns and values from their environment and that is why it is 
important to teach them good habits and healthy attitudes. 

The typical social growth of most children goes through the 
following phases, and can be observed in their patterns of play. 

Stages of social play 

Solitary play (0-2 years) At this stage children play on their own. 
They enjoy play with an adult or older child but cannot interact 
much with peers. 

Parallel play (2+) Children begin to sit beside another child of the 
same age, playing separately but with occasional interaction. 

Associative play (3+) Now children show an interest in peers and 
want to play with others, with just two or three children. This is 
the time for small group activities which teach children to learn 
to play together, and follow teacher-guided group play. 

Group play (4+) Now children readily participate and co-operate 
in activities involving five to eight children in a group. They are 
also ready to manage and handle group play independently. 

Games with rules (6+) By now children are able to understand 
rules and play elaborate games with rules. Competitive and team 
games can come only after this stage is reached. All the earlier 
types of play can continue indefinitely as the child grows up. i.e. 
children will go on doing as they did in earlier stages. 

Therefore the play activities introduced for children should also 
follow this gradation. At first, simple activities for a few 
children and later in groups gradually moving on to team 
games at 5+. 


Sodal and Persona l Development \ 03 



The best 
reward for a 
young child 
is approval, 
praise, 
encouragement 
and love 


Stages of personal development 

The stages in personal development or development of the self 
can be seen from various angles, like 

• self-awareness in the domain of thinking 

• self-reliance in the domain of habits, actions, skills 

• self-confidence and 

• self-control in the domain of feelings and emotions 

In infancy, the child who is at first unable to perceive any difference 
between herself/himself and others, gradually comes to 
differentiate herself/himself from others. By the age of three the 
child is aware of himself / herself as a person, uses the word "my", 
identifies by name, is possessive about things, is aware of others 
and comes into conflict with them. Fantasy and imaginative play 
is the vehicle for learning about oneself, others and the world. 
The child grows in self-awareness through simple imitative 
actions, doll play, various 'pretend' games, role-playing, 
dramatisation and play with imaginary companions. At the same 
time, the child now feels a need to belong and to learn the rules of 
sodal behaviour. This is done through games and through group 
play and role-play. 


Self -reliance starts with simple activities of self-care and control 
over bodily functions, and is related to the development of 
motor skills as well as health and social habits. Self-expression 
develops through language, creative activities and non-verbal 
communication. Self-control forms the third side of the triangle 
in the personal development in a child who gradually learns to 
integrate all these functions. 



Activities to promote these aspects : self- awareness, self-reliance, 
self control, and self- expression will be found scattered in all the 
chapters in this book. In this section the emphasis will be on pro- 
social behaviour. 

Rewards 

The best reward for a young child is approval, praise, 
encouragement and love. This can be shown in many ways. 



1 04 Play Activities for Child Development 





Achievement can be recognised by: 

• a look 

• a smile 

• a nod 

• a pat 

• a few words 

• telling other children about it 

• informing the parents about it. 

Remember: 

Do NOT praise the same children all the time. 

Do NOT draw comparisons between children. 

Do NOT offer bribes such as sweets. 

Do NOT make promises that you cannot keep. 

Punishments 

The most humiliating punishment is disapproval or reprimand or 
lack of love. This too can be shown in many ways. But punishment 
must be determined by the age of the child. A young child cannot 
always understand our reasons for punishment, so the same 
mistake committed by children of different ages must be treated 
differently. 

A three-year old should not be punished, but one should try to 
prevent or avoid the wrongdoing. If this cannot be prevented, 
activity should be changed quickly. 

For a four-year old, the wrong action can be stopped and 
disapproval shown. 

Children of five and above, can take disapproval and the 
explanation of the reason for it. 

Disapproval can be shown by: 

• facial expression 

• a few firm words 

• a sign of hands 



Social and Personal Development 1 05 





Remember 
Do NOT 
strike or hit 
or slap a 
child 

Do NOT 
shame a 
thild in front 
of others 

Do NOT 
complain to 
parents 
about the 
child's 
behaviour. 


• tone of voice 

• a shake of head 

If this does not bring the desired results, simple, quick and short 
punishment can be used. 

Remember; 

Do NOT strike or hit or slap a child. 

Do NOT shame a child in front of others. 

Do NOT complain to parents about the child's behaviour. 


1 06 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 1 

Objective 

To understand one's feelings 
when someone copies. 

To imitate 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Blocks (4 blocks for each 
child) 

Cat mask see Appendix 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Children stand in a circle to 
play the "Copy cat" game 
Make one child the "copy 
cat". He/She can wear a cat 
mask. When the "cat" makes 
an action like wiggling his/her 
finger or stamping the floor, 
the rest of the children must 
copy the action. Then the 
"cat" gives the mask to 
another child who wears the 
mask and becomes the new 
"cat" whose actions others 
copy. 

Variation 

Ask children to sit on the floor 
in a circle and give each child 
four blocks. Arrange your 
four blocks in a pattern and 
ask children to copy the 
pattern. Discuss the 'feeling 
good' when some one likes 
what you are doing. Start with 
simple patterns. 


Social and Personal Development 1 0 



Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To encourage positive 
behaviour 

To be aware of one's hands 

To have positive feelings 
about oneself 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Paper, crayons, colour 
powder, plastic slates, maida 
Paste 

Preparation 

Mix the coloured powder 
with maida paste. 

Attention 

After the activity talk to 
children about washing their 
hands. Discuss about washing 
up and cleaning up rules, e.g. 
no splashing water, leaving 
the sink clean. Praise children 
for following the rules. 


Activity 

Talk to children about hands 
and how they could be used 
for good things, like clapping 
hands, sharing toys, waving 
etc. Give each child a paper 
and some crayons. Make 
children trace their hands on 
the paper and colour them. 

Variation I 

Teach songs about using 
hands for actions like 
clapping, flying, swimming. 

Variation II 

Make children dip hands in 
paint (poured in plates). Then 
press their hands on paper to 
get the impression. After one 
colour dries another colour 
could be used. 


SAY HELLO 


1 08 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 3 

Objective 

To learn to be friendly and 
treat others kindly 

To learn to take turns 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Beanbag, ball or small soft toy. 

Preparation 

To make beanbag see 
Activity No. 3 in Chapter 2, 
Physical Development 

Attention 

A good way to make children 
think about communicating 
and sharing thoughts. 


Activity 

Ask children to form a circle. 
Throw the beanbag to a child. 
The child catches the bag and 
says "hello" to another child 
in the circle and throws the 
bag to him/her (e.g. If Ram 
catches the bag he says 
"hello" to Raju, and throws 
the bag to Raju). Continue the 
game till all the children have 
said hello. 

Variation 

Talk about what it means to 
share ideas. Tell someone 
something one likes, e.g. a 
favourite game, toy or food. 
Pass the beanbag around the 
circle and when a child 
receives it, he/she shares an 
idea, like what toy he/she 
likes to play with or what he/ 
she likes to eat. 



Social and Personal Devel opment 1 09 



Activity No . 4 

Objective 

To copy and draw 
To play as team 
To enjoy working together 
To be aware of self 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Black board and chalk. 

Preparation 

Draw a simple picture on the 
black board, such as a house, 
a man or a tree. Divide the 
picture into distinct parts for 
example. If you draw a 
picture of a man show the 
definite divisions into head, 
body, two legs and two arms 
(four parts). 

Attention 

The drawings should have 
definite divisions and the 
children should understand 
the divisions they are 
expected to draw. 


Activity 

Divide the children into 
groups of four. Take two 
groups at a time, while the 
other groups watch. The first 
child in each group must run 
and draw the head, the second 
the body, the third the legs 
and the fourth the hands and 
complete the picture. The aim 
of every group is not only to 
finish first but to draw the 
picture well. After these two 
groups finish select two more 
groups and play with the 
same picture or any other 
picture. 

Variation 

You can increase the interest 
by drawing different things 
every time you play the game 
or adding more parts, for 
example hair or hat in body 
parts. 




THE SPECIAL HELPER 


1 10 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 5 

Objective 

To identify ways children can 
help the teacher 

To perform simple tasks 
accurately 

To work together 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Ordinary classroom 
equipment and material 

Preparation 

Arrange things around the 
room and place in different 
places. Throw some paper on 
the floor etc. Let the room 
look messy. 


Activity 

When children come into the 
room tell them that you want 
to tell them a story, but there 
are so many things out of 
place in the room and that 
you are busy and need their 
help. Ask children if they can 
describe some of the things 
that must be done to put the 
room back in order. Ask each 
child or group of children to 
do a task. Let children suggest 
the task. If children do not 
notice all the things that have 
to be done, give them some 
clues to help them 

Variation 

Make up a classroom job list 
and give each child a simple 
weekly responsibility such as 
watering the plants, 
sharpening pencils, cleaning 
blackboards etc. Discuss with 
children about the importance 
of their job. 



/HERE'S YOUR BONE? 


Social and Personal Development \ \ \ 


Activity No. 6 

Objective 

To follow rules 
To observe 

To get to know others 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

An object like a block as the 
bone for the doggie 

A curtain ring or key ring 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Ask children to sit in a circle 
with their hands on their lap. 

A child is selected as the 
"doggie" who sits in the 
centre with eyes closed. The 
object for the 'bone' is kept 
next to the "doggie". A child 
from the circle tiptoes to the 
bone and takes it and goes 
back to his/her place and 
hides the bone behind him/ 
her. Then all the children say 
together, "Doggie, doggie 
where is your bone. Guess 
three times and take it home". 
The doggie opens his eyes and 
guesses. If the guess is right 
he/she can go back to the 
circle and the child who took 
the bone becomes the next 
doggie. 

Variation 

Make children sit in a circle. 
Let one child step out and 
close her/his eyes. Pass the 
ring around from hand to 
hand without showing the 
ring. Beat drum or clap 
hands. When the beat or 
clapping stops, the child who 
is out looks around and 
guesses the name of the child 
who has the ring. Allow three 
guesses and give clues to help 
the child. Then start the 
game again by sending out 
another child. 


I'M HAPPY BOOK 


112 Pby Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 7 

Objective 

Activity 

To learn to care for others 

To be thankful to people 
around them 

To express positive feelings 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

A drawing book and crayons 
for each child paints, pictures 
from magazines 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

In this activity children make 
their own scrapbooks of 
things that they are thankful 
for. Make children do a page 
at a time and this can be 
carried on over a period of 
time. Write a sentence on each 
page and make children draw 
or stick pictures, e.g. I'm glad 
for hands that clap for fun. 
(This page could be for child's 
hand prints). I'm glad for feet 
to jump and run (draw child's 
feet and colour). I'm glad for 
my mother who looks after 
me. I'm glad for my father 
who is tall as can be. 
(photographs of the parents 
could be pasted or the child 
could draw pictures of them). 
In this manner you could 
make children draw, colour or 
paste pictures of things that 
they are happy about and 
thus make up the whole 
scrapbook. 



LET'S SHAR 


Social and Personal Development 


113 


Activity No. 8 

Objective 

Activity 

To understand the concept of 
sharing 

To share materials for an art 
project 

To develop artistic abilities 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

One large sheet of paper for 
four children, paste, coloured 
paper (glazed / varnished 
paper) 

Preparation 

Cut out petals with coloured 
papers. Place 6-7 petals for 
each child in a box on the 
table. Set a sheet of paper and 
paste for each table. 


Activity 

Discuss with the children 
what it means to share by 
asking questions like this, 
"What does sharing mean? 
Why do we share? When is it 
good to share? How can we 
share in a classroom?" 
Encourage all the children to 
participate in the discussion. 
Now seat the children at each 
table and tell them that they 
are going to make flowers and 
they must share the paper 
petals and the paste, and do 
the sticking together in a 
group. Let them take turns. 
Encourage the children to 
share the materials and praise 
them for good sharing 
behaviour. 

Variation I 

Use same grouping system for 
other activities. Discuss the 
need to work in groups. 
Gradually increase the 
number of children sharing 
the materials. 

Variation II 

Start a discussion of how 
children share things with the 
members of their family at 
home. Let each child give one 
way in which he/she shares 
with other members in his/ 
her family. 



114 Play Acti vi ties for Child Development 



Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To increase interaction 
To learn to take turns 
To have fun 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Dice and cut outs of six parts 
of the face for each child. 

Preparation 

Cut out a circle for a face, cut 
two eyes and two ears, a nose, 
a mouth and hair. Each 
number on the dice must 
correspond to one part of the 
face. 

No. 1 = face 
No. 2 = eyes 
No. 3 = hair 
No. 4 = nose 
No. 5 = mouth 
No. 6 = ears 

Write this out on a card or on 
the sides of the dice. 

Attention 

Lamination of the parts of the 
face makes it long lasting. 

The parts could also be fixed 
with "Stick on" . (commercial 
synthetic sticking substance 
which can be used on smooth 
surfaces). 


Activity 

Ask children to sit in a circle 
and keep all the parts of the 
faces on a tray in the centre. 
Children take turns to throw 
the dice to select the cutout. 

To start the game, the child 
who throws number 'One' 
will pick the face "cutout" and 
place it on the floor or table. 
Then the next child throws the 
dice and picks up the part of 
the face which corresponds 
with the number on the dice 
e.g. if the dice shows five, the 
child must pick the cut-out of 
the mouth and place it on the 
face. If the dice shows the 
same number again, the child 
passes the dice to the next 
child. In this manner the 
children take turns to throw 
the dice and complete the 
face. 



I AM IMPORTANT 



Activity No. 10 
Objective 

To highlight the special 
qualities of each child 

To increase self-esteem 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Paper and crayons. 

Preparation 

Nil. 




Social and Personal Development 1 \ 5 

Activity 

Give each child a paper and 
ask the children to draw their 
faces. Make them think of 
themselves and draw their 
own features like curly hair, 
big eyes etc. Then ask 
children to draw their body 
with all its parts, like hands 
and legs. Give suggestions 
and make them draw as many 
details as possible. When the 
children finish drawing, they 
sit in a circle on the floor. Talk 
about the parts of the body. 
Every one has the same body 
parts like eyes, nose, mouth, 
eyebrows, finger, toes etc. but 
each one looks different. Now 
write their names on their 
drawings and display them on 
the wall. Discuss how every 
one looks different and that is 
what makes them special. 

Variation 

On another day discuss with 
children what they like best. 
Give each child a paper and 
make them draw what they 
like most. Display these 
pictures next to their "self 
portrait". Title the display 
"Special things that I like". 



ROLL A BALL 


116 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 11 

Objective 

To learn about other children 

To learn names of other 
children 

To wait and take turns 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Large rubber ball 

Preparation 

Nil. 




n 

N 




Activity 

Ask the children to sit in a 
circle on the floor with their 
legs crossed. Roll the ball to 
one child. When the child 
receives the ball she tells her 
name and something she likes 
to do. Then the child rolls the 
ball back to you. Roll the ball 
to each child in turn until all 
the children have had a 
chance to speak. 

Variation 

To start the game you roll the 
ball to one child, then ask a 
question like "How did you 
come to school? What did 
you eat this morning?" The 
child gives an answer and in 
turn rolls the ball to another 
child and asks a question. 

Play the game till all the 
children have had a chance to 
ask and answer a question. 


* 

\ 

9 

I 

* 

/ 




V 


CLEAN CORNERS 


Social and Personal Development \ \ 7 


Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To understand the need for 
hygiene and clean personal 
habits. 

To practise various personal 
habits by role play. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Objects or pictures of tooth 
brush, toothpaste, soap and 
towel and comb. 

Preparation 

Mark out circles on the floor, 
one for “combing the hair" 
circle, one "bathing" and the 
third "brushing teeth". 

Keep the objects or pictures 
in the three circle. 


Activity 

Ask the children to hold 
hands and form a circle. 

Play music or clap your hands 
and ask the children to move 
around in the circle. When 
you stop the music, the 
children should step into one 
of the circles drawn on the 
floor and do the action of that 
circle, e.g. if the children step 
into the combing circle, they 
have to pretend to comb their 
hair. If a child does not do the 
action, she must come forward 
and do it for the rest of the 
class. After this the game can 
be started again. Keep playing 
till all the children have had a 
chance to move to all the 
circles. Discuss with children 
the need for clean habits. 



1 18 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 13 

Objective 

To experience group feeling 

To follow rules 

To understand other people's 
feelings 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Ask children to stand in pairs 
back to back with their elbows 
linked. One child should be 
left without a partner. Give 
directions that when you blow 
the whistle they must change 
partners and the child without 
a partner will also try to get a 
partner. After they have 
changed partners, there will 
again be one child without a 
partner. Write her name on . 
the black board and start the 
game again. Keep playing and 
keep a note of the number of 
children who have been 
without a partner in each turn. 
Discuss with children about 
why everyone should have a 
turn to get a partner. 




Social and Personal Development \ J 9 



Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To help children to get to 
know each other 

To increase concentration and 
attention span. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Make children sit in a circle. 
Ask children to clap hands 
twice and then snap their 
fingers twice. Do this 
continuously and 
rhythmically until the 
children have learnt to do it 
well. When the children clap 
their hands ask them to say a 
child's name and while they 
snap their fingers say 'be 
quick'. Now start the game • 
like this - say 'Rita' (clapping 
hands) and ‘be quick' 
(snapping fingers). The child 
whose name is called will call 
out another child's name and 
say ‘be quick'. Carry on the 
game till all the children's 
names have been called out. 



LL YOUR FRIEND 


120 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To help children to get to 
know each other 

To learn to co-operate 

To express positive feelings 

Group size 
Large 
Materials 
Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Make all the children sit in a 
circle. Start the game by 
saying, "There is a place next 
to me and I want Vijaya to 
come and sit next to me. 
Vijaya, please come". The 
child must get up and come 
and sit next to you. Now the 
child sitting on the right of 
where Vijaya was sitting will 
call another child to come and 
sit next to her. Let the game 
continue in this manner till all 
the children have moved from 
their original places. 

Variation 

Keep a used telephone, toy 
telephone or wooden piece in 
the classroom 'which can be 
used as a telephone. Play the 
same game, with children 
using the telephone by turns. 



ZIP ZAP 


Social and Personal Development 1 21 




Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To help children to get to 
know each other 

To increase self confidence 

To develop memory. 

Group size 
Large 
Materials 
Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 

Illustration of left-right. 


Activity 

Make all the children stand in 
a circle. Let children introduce 
themselves to the group. 

All the children should know 
each other's names. Now 
stand in the middle and point 
to a child and say 'zip'. The 
child has to call out the name 
of the child standing to her 
right. When you point to a 
child and say 'zap' then the 
child has to call out the name 
of the child to her left. Keep 
moving around and point to 
all the children by turns. Do it 
slowly at first and then start 
calling out quickly. If a child 
makes a mistake she/he 
should step out of the game. 
Carry on the game until only 
two children are left. 



122 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 17 

Objective 

To teach children concepts of 
nutrition 

To teach good eating habits. 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Two dice and the special 
Snakes and Ladders board 
with food concepts written on 
it, coloured counters. 

Preparation 

For the preparation of the dice 
and the board, see Appendix. 


Activity 

♦ 

This activity is similar to the 
usual "Snakes and Ladders" 
game, but with messages on 
nutrition and good eating 
habits in the squares. The 
children sit around the board 
and throw the dice in turn. 
When they land in a square 
with a ladder they climb up. 
Read and discuss the reason 
given in the square like "You 
have good eyes because you 
eat carrots every day". If the 
child lands in a square with a 
snake's mouth the child will 
have to move down the snake. 
Give reasons again, like, "You 
ate food on the road side, 
which was dirty and has 
made you ill". In this manner 
the children can take turns 
and keep playing till all the 
children finish the board. 
After the game they can 
discuss various good and bad 
eating habits. 





HELPING OTHERS 


Social and Personal Development 1 23 




Activity No. 18 

Objective 

To respond to the requests of 
others 

To understand the value of 
helpfulness. 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Finger puppets of a mother 
mouse, and three small mice, 
a black, a brown and a white 
mouse. (See Appendix). 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

The story can be repeated for 
as many days as the children 
like. 


Activity 

Tell the story of the 'Little 
White Mouse'. Tell the 
children about each small 
mouse and its action. Explain 
why it is important to carry 
out an errand and help others. 

The Story 

Once there was a Mother 
Mouse and three little mice 
named Blackie, Brownie and 
Whitie. Mother Mouse one 
day said to Blackie, "Will you 
run to the kitchen and get me 
a piece of bread for our 
lunch". But Blackie said. 
"Mother, I don't know where 
the kitchen is and how to go 
there. I am too small". So 
Mother Mouse got the bread 
herself. The next day she 
asked Brownie. He went out 
but came back with no bread, 
saying he went to play with 
his friends and forgot. So 
Mother Mouse got the bread 
herself. The next day Mother 
Mouse asked the third mouse 
to get some bread. Whitie said 
"Yes, mother, tell me how to 
go there and how much to 
bring". He listened to her and 
ran away. Soon he was back 
with the bread and said "That 
was easy. Mother, I am glad I 
went." Mother said, "Thank 
you very much, Whitie, you 
have done a good job." 


GOOD HABITS 


124 Hay Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 19 
Objective 

To learn good habits 

To become aware of general 
cleanliness and personal 
hygiene. 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Rubber dolls, basins of water, 
soap and towels. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Discuss with the children 
about general cleanliness, 
such as washing hands before 
meals, bathing, keeping ones 
things clean etc. Give a group 
of two or three children a 
rubber doll and a basin of 
water. Give pieces of soap and 
a small towel. Let children 
take turns to bathe the doll. 
Then sing this song with 
actions. 

'Brush, brush, brush your 
teeth brush it every day. 

"Father, mother, brother, 
sister, brush it every day. 

Wash, wash, wash your face... 
etc. 

Bathe, bathe, bathe, 
yourself etc. 

Drink, drink, drink your 
milk, drink it 
everyday " etc. 

Variation 

Discuss with children about 
keeping their surroundings 
clean through stories like the 
story of, "The man who 
slipped on the banana skin". 


THE LEADER 


Social and Personal Development 1 25 


Activity No. 20 

Objective 

To develop self esteem in 
children 

To make children feel 
important 

To shed inhibition in children 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

A small box, a chair, slips of 
paper with the names of all 
the children 

Preparation 

Decorate the box with 
coloured paper and write the 
names of all the children on 
slips of paper and put into 
the box. Decorate a small 
stool or chair and place in 
the front of the class. 


Activity 

Place the box in an important 
place in the class. Each day 
you pick up one of the slips 
and call out the name of the 
child on the slip of paper. 

This child is made to sit on the 
special chair and you could 
talk about her. Talk about all 
the positive characteristics of 
the child. Then you could 
make the child the leader of 
the class for the day. She 
could suggest the activity for 
the day and also assist you in 
organising the activity for the 
whole class. She could help 
you put away things and 
arrange the class. This will 
make her wanted and 
important. (The slip of this 
child could be put away at the 
end of the day). The next day 
pick up another slip and this 
child will be the leader for the 
day. In this manner the whole 
class will have a chance to feel 
important and be the leader. 


The young child experiences emotions often powerfully, but is 
unable to understand or name them, or to handle and control them. 
The child is also sensitive to the world around him, which he/she 
experiences through the senses and from the first year expresses 
feelings through laughter, tears, and spontaneous sounds and 
movements. 

As children grow and mature, their emotions proceed through a 
series of stages, from the infant's relatively undifferentiated 
responses to what is termed as emotional maturity. By the age of 
three months, an infant can differentiate between distress and 
delight, and by two years of age a child can express a full range of 
emotions, including fear, distrust, anger, jealousy, distress, delight, 
elation and affection. 

In the early childhood years, children learn new and socially 
acceptable ways of expressing their feelings. They have to be 
helped to 

• recognise and name their feelings, 

• understand and accept them, and 

• find wholesome outlets 

Hostile feelings, aggression, resentment and other negative 
feelings are often experienced by children often and have to be 
recognised and handled. Here are some common situations in 
which resentment is felt by children, and ways of dealing with it. 

• Feelings of jealousy or hostility arise with the arrival in the 
home of a new baby. This may show up in school in behaviour 
such as hitting and hurting other children, or by spanking a 

) doll or throwing it down and stamping it. Giving children 
rubber or rag dolls, clay and blocks and letting them pound, 
punch and hit these toys help them release the hostile feelings 
within. 

• Children also use verbal aggression against other children as 
well as adults. When the teacher is aware of this and provides 
a warm, supportive relationship, the child will be able to handle 
such feelings and even check them. 

• Another source of resentment in children is the demand made 
on them to 'keep clean' and the fear and guilt they feel when 
they get dirty while at play. Children whose parents emphasise 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 27 



Clay, dolls, 
blocks, 
rubber toys 
and balls 
help children 
release their 
feelings 
without 
hurting 
people. 


on cleanliness and proper behaviour are often disturbed and 
anxious. In such a situation the teacher has to recognise this 
anxiety and make the child understand that becoming dirty 
is all right, but washing up afterwards is very important. 

• Often children, who are very timid or shy, may not show their 
resentment or hostility openly but express themselves by doing 
something quietly, because parents and teachers approve of 
quiet children. The teacher can help such children by allowing 
them to express their behaviour. 

• Failure to get attention and response will arouse resentment 
and hostility, especially in insecure children, who want 
reassurance. As teachers you need to understand that all 
children need equal attention. When you give attention to one 
child, others may feel left out. 

Avenues for the expression of feelings 

Motor expression This is the simplest and most direct means of 
releasing feelings. That is why hitting, pushing and biting are 
common among young children. Using materials like clay, dolls, 
blocks, rubber toys and balls help children release their feelings 
without hurting people around them. 

Language It is another outlet. A crying child or a child who uses 
angry words reveals a lot of feelings and usually is not harmful 
to people around. 



Art and music These are also very good avenues for the expression 
of feelings. Children should be allowed to use these media in their 
own way to express their feelings through their work. 

^ \ Creative arts and activities can help the child find new ways 

• to express and control feelings, 

• to experience the joy of creation, and 

• to communicate meaningfully with others. 

Children love to work with their hands. As they do so, they are 
exploring with their senses, gaining new experiences, using their 
imagination, practising skills with their hands and fingers and 
coordinating and controlling their muscles. At the same time, they 
are also expressing their feelings - wonder, joy, love of beauty, 
fun, excitement, love, humour and energy. Children also get great 



128 Play Activities for Child Development 



Acting out 
troubled 
situations 
and real Ufa 
problems 
gives them 
an outlet for 
their 

emotions and 
enables them 
to cope with 
situations 
which they 
may not be 
able to talk 

about 

* * 



satisfaction and a sense of achievement and pride in making things 
by themselves and in communicating their feelings non-verbally 
through these products. Side by side they are learning to appreciate 
beauty of form, both in Nature and in man-made things and in 
the things that they make. 

Creative activities 

Performing arts like mime, movement, role-play, song, dance and 
drama are constructive ways to channelise and express emotions 
and feelings and to communicate. The joy of being able to do 
what one observes around him/her and also what others are doing 
brings a feeling of self confidence. Role-play helps children 
understand the feelings, roles and work of others. Acting out 
troubled situations and real life problems gives them an outlet for 
their emotions and enables them cope with situations which they 
may not be able to talk about. Therefore any material or activity 
that allows for success, that challenges but does not frustrate, and 
leave children with a sense of accomplishment helps them to 
express their feelings and acquire mastery over themselves. 

Arts activities also help children express and overcome destructive 
impulses and negative feelings of fear, anger, aggression, hurt, 
sadness, loneliness in ways, which do not hurt oneself or others. 
Pounding or squeezing clay, breaking up sand structures or tearing 
up paper are safe non-verbal ways to express anger, hurt or 
aggression. Stories, drama, doll play and role-play give 
opportunities to enact feelings like fear, sorrow and anger as well 
as joy, love and enthusiasm. Punishing dolls or fighting in dramas 
provides an outlet for aggression and anger, both verbal and non- 
verbal. In these ways, children gradually learn to express, handle 
and control their feelings and learn that others have similar 
feelings. They also learn to communicate their feelings, thoughts 
and ideas. 

Children also enlarge their experiences by using their 
imagination. They learn to express their feelings, to control 
them and communicate with others by 

• creating with their hands, as in art and crafts 

• acting with their bodies, as in movement and dance 

• using their voices, as in speech and song. 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 29 


Besides structured games and activities in this chapter, children 
should get opportunities for free play alone or in small groups 
with and without materials like sand, clay, water, dolls, blocks, 
toys and constructional kits to experience activities for emotional 
and aesthetic development. 


Free play 
alone or in 
small groups 
with sand, 
clay, water, 
dolls, blocks, 
toys and 
constructional 
kits for 
emotional 
and aesthetic 
development 




STATUES 


1 30 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 1 

Objective 

To visualise form and express 
forms with the body 

To increase control of large 
motor movement 

To follow directions. 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Tape recorder/ drums. 

Dance or marching music 

Preparation: 

Nil 

Attention: 

The action or task should 
be easy at first and made 
progressively more 
difficult. 

Can you think of some 
more themes for statues? 



Activity 

Ask children to move around 
in a circle while the music is 
played. When the music stops, 
they must stay absolutely still, 
like a statue. Any child who 
makes even a slight movement 
must step out of the game. 

The game goes on until only 
one child remains. 

Variation I 

When the music stops, ask the 
children to freeze like an 
animal or an object or a person 
(e.g. elephant, monkey, train, 
tree, dancer). The child who 
moves drops out of the game 
and can be made to call out the 
name of the statue of his/her 
choice. 

Variation II 

Play music. Ask children to 
move around in a circle. Tell 
them to balance on one foot 
when the music stops (child 
who cannot stand still on one 
foot could use the support of a 
chair or a table) Slightly more 
difficult tasks can be tried after 
some practice. 

Variation III 

When the music stops, ask 
children to form a statue in 
groups, e.g. three or four 
children can form a train, a 
tree, a house or a dog. 


MOVE IN RHYTHM 



Emotional & Aesthetic Development 


131 


Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To move in rhythm 
To express feelings of joy 
To learn simple dance steps 
To move gracefully 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Some music or rhythmic beat 
of a musical instrument 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Let children stand in a circle. 
Clap a simple rhythm, for 
instance, two quick beats and 
one slow, or two slow and 
three quick. Let the children 
repeat it with you. Keep 
clapping till all the children 
clap together in the correct 
beat. Then change to a 
different rhythm. Vary the 
rhythm from time to time. 

Variation I 

Let children stand in a sem- 
circle. Clap a simple rhythm 
and ask the children to move 
their bodies to the beat, each 
time in a different way. Show 
them movements like sway 
from side to side, sway 
forward and backward, swing 
the arms, swing one arm at a 
time, swing the foot etc.. Soon 
children will start moving to 
rhythm. 

Variation II 



Let the children stamp their 
feet to the rhythm, at first 
standing in the same place, 
and later walking round in a 
circle. 

Variation III 

Teach children simple dance 
steps and folk dances. 



132 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 3 

Objective 

To recognise emotions in 
others. 

To identify different emotions 
like sadness, anger and 
happiness 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Three masks - a happy face, a 
sad face and an angry face. 
Attach a rod to each mask so 
that the child can hold it in 
front of the face. Eight 
magazine pictures that will 
evoke emotions, like spilt 
juice, circus clown, broken 
toy, delicious looking cake or 
hurt knee. 

Preparation 

Make masks of a happy face, a 
sad face and an angry face 
(see Appendix). 


Activity 

Gather the children into a 
group and tell them that they 
are going to look at some 
pictures and learn how they 
feel looking at them. Seat the 
children in a circle, and keep 
the pictures you have 
collected in front of you. 

Show the children the three 
masks (happy, sad and angry). 
To begin the game, show the 
first picture to the children. 
Then ask one child to come 
forward and pick up a mask 
that shows the feeling in the 
picture, e.g. circus clown - the 
mask with the happy face. 

Ask the child to explain why 
the picture makes him/her feel 
that way. You could discuss 
further with the children 
about the times they feel 
happy and how they can share 
this feeling with others. In 
case the feeling is sad or 
angry you discuss how they 
show it or help others feel 
better. 


FOLLOW THE SOUND 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 33 



Activity No. 4 

Objective 

To match movements to 
specific sounds 

To learn to dance 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Musical instrument to make 
different sounds 

Preparation 

Nil 


Activity 

Demonstrate a few 
movements to appropriate 
sounds, e.g. a soft, slow sound 
for a gentle breeze, a quick 
beat for a train, a heavy one 
for an elephant. Repeat these a 
few times and let the children 
learn them well. To play the 
game make the sound and tell 
the children to listen carefully 
and make appropriate 
movements. As you keep 
changing the sounds, the 
children must also change 
their movements. Soon the 
children will be dancing. 

Variation 



Tell a story and ask the 
children to move their bodies 
to suit the different sounds 
they hear in the story, e.g. it 
was raining, first a drizzle, 
then there was heavy rain and 
a strong wind, the trees were 
swaying etc. You can ask the 
children to accompany you 
with body movements and 
actions for the sounds. For 
example, when you say "the 
trees were swaying", let the 
children lift their hands, and 
sway from left to right. 
Continue the story, making up 
more and more sounds and 
actions as you go on. 


1 34 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 5 
Objective 

To observe and leam to 
imitate 

To guess the meaning of 
actions 

To express ideas through 
actions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

These activities can be done in 
any language. 



Activity 

Let the children stand in a 
circle. You stand in the center 
and do an action. Ask the 
children, "What am I doing?". 
The children must guess the 
action. After a few rounds, 
give turns to children to act, 
while other guess. 

Variation I 

Let children sit in a circle. 

A child stands up and says, 

"I went to the market". The 
others must ask, "What did 
you buy? The child acts out 
an object and the others guess, 
e.g. ice cream, a licking action. 
If the children guess correctly, 
they can say, "What did you 
do then?" and the child acts 
out another action. Continue 
for two or three rounds and 
then change the subject. 

Variation II 

Ask children to stand in a 

circle. Let the children imitate 

* 

the action that you call out. 
e.g. 'Lets become elephants". 
Call out other birds and 
animals. 

Variation III 

The action could be sung out 
'If I were a soldier, this is 

what I would do ' 

The children sing and do 
the action. 


FAST AND SLOW 



Emotional & Aesthetic Development 


135 


Activity No. 6 

Objective 

To develop balance and 
co-ordination 

To control bodily movements 

To follow instructions 

To express joy 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Let the children stand in a 
circle all facing in one 
direction (clockwise or anti- 
clockwise). Start clapping or 
beating a rhythm and ask the 
children to move keeping time 
to your beat. When you clap 
slowly they must move 
slowly, and when you clap 
faster they must walk faster. 
When you clap very fast they 
run. Change the pace from 
time to time 

Variation I 

Play the same game, but this 
time clap your hands or beat a 
rhythm soft and loud. Soft 
means to move slowly and 
loud means to move fast. 

Variation II 

Stand children in a circle and 
move in one direction 
(clockwise or anti-clockwise). 
Sing any action song that the 
children know and make them 
move performing the actions. 
Use different speeds and 
rhythms, styles and shapes. 



THROUGH THE M 


135 Play Activities for Child Development 


3 


Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To learn to control and master 
movement 

To use imagination 

To move to rhythm 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Drums, stools, planks, ropes, 
tyres, cloth, sheets of 
newspaper, chalk and boxes 

Preparation 

Set up a maze with the 
articles around the room. 
Arrange the articles in a 
path way, draw arrows with 
chalk for the direction 
which the children have 
to follow. 


Activity 

Ask children to form a line 
and play the game one at a 
time. One child must finish 
going through the maze 
before the next starts. Tell the 
child what to do at each 
obstacle, e.g. jump over the 
stool, go under the rope, walk 
along the line, hop between 
the two toys and so on. Vary 
the commands for the next 
child. Use a rhythm to control 
the movements, changing 
from fast to slow. Later 
children can take the place of 
the leader and give the 
commands. 

Variation I 

Play music or beat a drum and 
make children move through 
the maze keeping steps to the 
beat of the music. 



FUN WITH CRAYONS 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 37 


Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To learn about different 
textures 

To have control of material 
To appreciate beauty 
To be aware of patterns 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Thin drawing paper, pencil, 
crayons, textured surfaces, 
such as thick chart paper / 
cardboard, and coins, leaves, 
sandpaper, sack cloth, mats, 
etc. 


Activity 

Cut out in thick chart paper / 
card board any design or 
shape. Place this under the 
drawing paper. Ask the child 
to rub with crayons on the 
design with overlapping 
strokes. The image of the cut 
out will appear on the paper. 
Make them place different 
textures under the paper and 
rub different coloured crayon 
over the textures. This texture 
will be transferred on to the 
paper to form interesting 
designs. 

Variation I 

Leaves with thick veins, coins 
etc., could be used to give 
different effects. 

Variation II 

Give children pencils and 
paper and ask them to scribble 
over the whole paper in 
continuous lines. There 
should be a variety of straight 
and curved lines. Now ask 
them to look for shapes 
created within the lines. 

Draw out these shapes heavily 
with a sketch pen. Let the 
children colour these shapes 
and name them. 



MURALS 


138 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To paint a picture together 
To express ideas and feelings. 

Group size 

Small 

Materials 

Crayons, paints, thick hand- 
made brushes, large sheets of 
thick paper like brown paper 
or newspaper or an old saree 
or cloth. Maida paste for 
pasting the sheets. 

Preparation 

Paste several sheets of 
newspaper or a few sheets of 
thick brown paper or old cloth 
on the wall, up to a height 
suitable for children, and let it 
dry. Children can paint on the 
topmost layer. 

Attention 

A mural is a large work of art 
made by a number of 
children. An individual child 
can also make this. Older 
children can also paint murals 
directly on a wall. 

Later, brown paper or 
newspaper sheets can be 
pasted on top of the painted 
paper. New murals can be 
made every week or once a 
month. 


Activity 

First discuss the theme of the 
picture with the children. 

Let each child decide what 
he/she is going to paint. 

Help by giving suggestions. 
Then give out small pots of 
paint and brushes and 
supervise and guide while 
they paint the picture 
together. 

Variation 

Draw the outlines of the 
pictures the children want to 
make and let them complete it 
as a collage (For details of 
how to make a collage see 
Activity No. 12 in this 
chapter). 



RD EMBROIDERY 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 39 



Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To create beautiful things 

To develop the finger muscles 

To develop eye-hand 
coordination 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Chart paper, blunt needles 
and woollen thread 

Preparation 

Cut out pieces of cardboard 
about 10 x 15 cms in size. 
Draw out lines of shapes or 
common simple figures like 
fruits, vegetables, animals, 
birds etc. Punch holes around 
the outline. Thread the 
needles with sufficient 
woollen thread and tie to one 
of the holes on the figure. Or 
you can cut out the shape, and 
make holes along the edges. 

Attention 

Be very patient with the 
children as they will often 
make knots with the woollen 
thread. Help them when they 
make mistakes. 


Activity 

Give each child a card a blunt 
needle and thread. Show how 
to lace the thread in and out 
or 'in and around the outside' 
of the card. When complete, 
help to tie the ends. Display 
the finished shapes as 
mobiles. 

Variation I 

After the children have 
mastered lacing the wool, give 
them two cards of the same 
shape with holes punched 
through both the cards. Make 
them join the shapes together 
by lacing with the woollen 
thread. Let them leave a small 
opening and stuff with small 
pieces of paper between the 
two shapes so as to get a three 
dimensional object. After 
stuffing with paper, they can 
lace to the end and you could 
help them finish. 

Variation II 

Give each child a small piece 
of chart paper with simple 
drawing on it. Give needle 
and woolen thread and make 
the children do a simple 
running stitch along the 
outline of the shapes. 



COLOUR AND WAX RESIST 


140 



Activity 

Draw or ask children to draw 
any picture or design with a 
wax crayon or candle on the 
papier. Then ask the children 
to paint over the whole paper 
with a bright wet paint. The 
wax crayon or the candle will 
resist the paint and the 
drawing will be visible. 

Wax crayons (white or any 
light colour) or wax candles, 
paper, pencils, water colour or 
poster colours, and brush. 

Coloured powder could be 
used. 

Preparation 

Mix the paints or coloured 
powder into a very thin 
consistency. 


Activity No. 11 
Objective 

To develop sense of design 
and colour 

To develop eye hand 
co-ordination 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 



WET CHALK DRAWING 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 



Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To develop good sense of 
design and colour 

To develop creativity 

To express ideas / feelings 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Coloured chalk, strong 
solution of sugar or 
buttermilk or liquid starch. 
Large paper or newspaper 

Preparation 

Soak the coloured chalk in a 
strong solution of sugar or 
buttermilk or liquid starch for 
ten minutes. The soaked 
chalk will not break easily and 
give bright colours on the 
paper. 


Activity 

Seat children around a table or 
on the floor. Give each child a 
paper and some wet chalk. 

Let children draw and express 
what- ever they like. Discuss 
with children and label the 
drawings with their names 
and a description of what they 
have drawn. Display in the 
class. 

Variation I 

Suggestions of what the 
children can draw can be 
given, like those related to the 
theme, or to a story told in the 
class. 

Variation II 

You could make this a group 
activity where four or five 
children can make one large 
picture on a large paper such 
as a newspaper sheet. 



COLLAGE 


142 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 13 
Objective 

To develop taste for good 
design and colour 

To create pictures with waste 
materials 

To work together 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

A collection of materials like 
small scraps of cloth of 
different textures, paper, 
bottle caps, buttons, sand, 
pebbles, strings, grains 
matchsticks, beads, feathers, 
eggshells, wool, seeds, straw 
etc. 

Maida paste and large sheets 
of old newspaper or brown 
paper pencil, chalk. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Make use only of materials 
that can stick well on the 
paper. 

Keep a collage container in 
the classroom. Encourage 
children to bring small things 
to put in it. Go on adding to it 
every day. 


Activity 

Give children a large sheet of 
paper, paste and the collection 
of materials. First discuss with 
them the picture they want to 
make. Then help them stick 
the various objects on to the 
paper to get the result they 
want. Let them draw the 
outlines first with chalk or 
pencil. 

Variation I 

To do a collage, you could 
specify a theme or you could 
draw a picture. Ask children 
to stick materials within the 
drawing e.g. you draw a tree 
and ask the children to stick 
the leaves for the tree. 

Variation II 

The collage could be made 
with only one medium at a 
time, like 

• Sand, which can be 
coloured with colour 
powder 

• Paper, like magazine paper 
which is tom into small 
pieces and used in the 
collage 

• Only geometrical designs 
like squares rectangles and 
circles can be used. 
Drawings can be added for 
details. 



HANDS AND LEGS 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 1 43 


Activity No. 14 
Objective 

To become familiar with body 
parts and body shape. 

To colour with crayons 

Group size 
Medium group. 

Materials 

Newspaper, crayons / paints , 
sketch pens, scissors 

Preparation 

Paste several sheets of 
newspaper together so that it 
is big enough for a child to lie 
flat with hands extended out. 
Place the paper on the floor. 

Attention 

This activity could be carried 
on for a few days until all the 
children's drawings are 
completed. 



Activity 

Make children place their 
hands or legs on the 
newspaper and draw the 
outline. The children can 
paint or colour their hands / 
legs. This could be cut out and 
pasted in tine form of a group 
collage. 

Variation I 

Make one child lie flat on the 
paper with hands stretched 
out to the sides. Draw her/his 
outline with a sketch pen. Let 
the children colour the outline 
of the child. Help to draw the 
features. Write the name of 
the child on the sheet. Cut out 
and fix on display board. 
Repeat with the other 
children. While colouring, 
talk with the children about 
the parts of the body. 

Variation II 

Teach action songs about body 
parts like, "Head and 
shoulder, knees and toes (3) 

Eyes, ears, mouth and nose". 

Variation III 

Do actions and body 
movements to music and 
make children imitate you. 



PAINTING WITH A DIFFERENC 


|44 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To create beautiful and 
colourful paintings 

To share and appreciate 
designs 

To develop eye hand 
co-ordination 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Paints/colour powder, paint 
brushes, twine, drinking 
straws, sponge, paper 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Take a sheet of paper and 
arrange the thread soaked in 
paint on one side of the paper 
with one end of the thread at 
the edge of the paper. Fold the 
paper in half. Press the paper 
with one hand and gently pull 
the thread out with the other. 
Open the folded paper 
carefully to get a mirror image 
design. 

Variation I 

Paint a leaf with a thin coat of 
paint and press the leaf on a 
paper. 

Variation II 

Dab a few drops of paint on 
one side of the paper. Fold 
paper over the paint, press 
gently and rub to spread the 
paint. Then open the paper 
and see lovely designs that 
resemble insects, flowers, and 
butterflies. 

Variation III 

Give each child a paper and a 
straw. Put a little paint on the 
paper with a brush. Ask the 
children to place the end of 
their straw on the paint and 
blow in one direction to 
spread the paint. 



PRINTING 


Emotiona l & Aesthetic Development 1 45 




Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To create good design 

To illustrate feelings and 
thoughts 

To develop eye-hand 
coordination 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Small wooden blocks (about 
six) thick thread, poster paint 
or coloured powder, paste, 
paper 

Preparation 

Apply paste on the length of 
the thread and wrap around 
the block to form any abstract 
design. Leave to dry. Mix 
paints or coloured powder 
into medium consistency and 
place in plates 

Attention 

After dipping the block in the 
paint, the excess paint on the 
block can be removed by 
covering the block with a 
scrap of paper or a small piece 
of thin cloth. 


Activity 

Give each child a paper and a 
block and a plate of paint. 
Demonstrate the activity by 
dipping the block in the paint 
or by applying the paint with 
a brush and pressing the block 
on the paper. Let children 
print any design that they like. 
Several prints can be made 
with one dip in the paint. 

The sides of the block can 
make many designs. Let it dry 
and then display in the 
classroom. 

Variation I 

Roll thread on a pencil or a 
roller. Apply paint on the 
thread and ask children to roll 
the pencil on the paper. 
Rolling in different directions 
can give interesting designs. 

Variation II 

You can use vegetables like 
potato by cutting potatoes in 
halves. Carve a simple design 
on the flat side of the half. 
Sliced lady's fingers or leaves 
can also be used. 



PAPER FOLDING (ORIGAMI) 


146 Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 17 

Objective 

To develop eye-hand 
coordination 

To develop and co-ordinate 
finger muscles 

To create beautiful things 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Plenty of square pieces of 
coloured paper (12x12 cms.) 

Preparation 

To get bright coloured paper 
you can dye newspaper with 
rangoli powder. Mix the 
colour powder in water and a 
little paste and dip newspaper 
in it. Hang out to dry. 


Activity 

Make children sit in a 
semicircle. 

Distribute paper to all the 
children. 

Demonstrate a paper folding 
activity giving very clear 
instructions. Let the children 
do it step by step. Help 
children who find it difficult 
to follow steps. Start with 
simple items like a boat, a fan, 
a hat, and a rabbit (See 
Appendix). 

Variation 

The paper folded objects can 
be used to make a picture. 
Make children colour a 
background of a scene and 
stick the objects on the paper, 
e.g. water or sea with paper 
boats and fish and some birds 
flying. 






Activity No. 18 

Objective 

To develop dexterity of fingers 

To develop a taste for colour 
and design 

Group size 

Medium 

Materials 

Coloured tissue paper (kite 
paper), paste, chart paper 

Preparation 

Cut tissue paper into plenty 
of small squares 6x6 cms. 
Draw stems and flowers 
on the chart paper. 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development \ 4' 

Activity 

Give each child a piece of 
chart paper with die drawing, 
some tissue paper and paste. 
Guide children to crumple 
tissue paper by squeezing and 
rolling on the table or between 
the hands in a circular motion. 
Make children apply paste on 
the ball and paste it on the 
stems and flowers drawn on 
the chart paper. 

Variation 

Collect small twigs during a 
nature walk. Ask children to 
paste the coloured paper 
flowers on these twigs. Let 
them plant these twigs in 
disposable cups filled with 
sand. Each child can have his/ 
her own flowerpot. 



1 48 Play Activities for Child Development 




Activity No. 19 
Objective 

To use imagination 

To be creative and express 
feelings 

To use body and gesture for 
expression 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Common objects like stick, 
pot, box, cloth, hat etc. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle. 
Put an ordinary object in the 
centre. Each child gets a turn 
at using the object to 
"become" someone, or do 
something, e.g. If the stick is 
placed in the middle, children 
can imitate an old man, or 
pretend to hit a fruit on a tree 
etc. Go round the circle and 
let everyone have a turn. After 
they have used one object you 
could change the object. 
Encourage children to play 
the game silently. 

Variation I 

Once the children have learnt 
the game, tell them not to 
repeat any action which has 
been done by any other child. 
You can change the object 
when they run out of ideas. 

Variation II 

Let every child say something 
about the person he / she has 
become, and also do 
appropriate actions. 




1 4 g Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 19 

Objective 

To use imagination 

To be creative and express 
feelings 

To use body and gesture for 
expression 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Common objects like stick, 
pot, box, cloth, hat etc. 

Preparation 

Nil. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle. 
Put an ordinary object in the 
centre. Each child gets a turn 
at using the object to 
"become" someone, or do 
something, e.g. If the stick is 
placed in the middle, children 
can imitate an old man, or 
pretend to hit a fruit on a tree 
etc. Go round the circle and 
let everyone have a turn. After 
they have used one object you 
could change the object. 
Encourage children to play 
the game silently. 

Variation I 

Once the children have learnt 
the game, tell them not to 
repeat any action which has 
been done by any other child. 
You can change the object 
when they run out of ideas. 

Variation II 

Let every child say something 
about the person he / she has 
become, and also do 
appropriate actions. 


Emotional & Aesthetic Development 149 


Activity No. 20 

Obj ective 

To help children express their 
desires, likes and dislikes 
freely 

To release pent up emotions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Nil 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Remember that this game is 
not to evaluate the children's 
responses but merely to help 
them express themselves. 


Activity 

Seat the children in a circle 
along with you. Start a 
discussion about yourself and 
something that happened to 
you on the way to school. 

This could be an imaginary 
story as this is only to 
motivate the children to talk. 
Encourage the children to talk 
and start a story which has 
some fantasy in it like, "If all 
the animal toys in the school 
came alive what would you 
do with them?" Give the 
children time to think and let 
them express themselves 
freely. Let children take turns 
to talk, give their own ideas, 
to express their desires, likes 
and dislikes freely. 


Academic readiness, or school readiness, as it is often called, is 
the state when young children are ready to begin learning the 
three formal skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. Every child 
may arrive at this stage at a different age, and at his/her own pace. 

Signs of readiness for learning can be seen in children's behaviour, 
and an obvious interest in an activity, e.g. when a child shows 
interest in books, she is ready to read. Disinterest in a learning 
activity may be sign of lack of readiness. Insisting on the activity 
when children are not interested, what ever the reason be, is likely 
to produce little or no learning, and may cause frustrations and 
bad feelings. This may also turn the children against that particular 
task. Sustained attention also depends upon the degree of interest 
and curiosity shown by the children, and this can be aroused 
through play, which is the young child's way of learning. 

The principle of readiness does not necessarily mean that you 
must simply wait for the child to give signs of readiness to learn. 
Readiness itself can be taught, through many structured and 
unstructured activities. 

The key to foster children's readiness to learn is to provide many 
opportunities and large variety of concrete objects for spontaneous 
exploration, in a secure trusting climate, extending gradually into 
more structured learning activities 

Let us now look at the three aspects of readiness - pre-reading, 
pre-writing and pre-numeracy. 

Pre-reading 

How do we start teaching children to read? 

Do we begin with sounds, words or sentences? 

Many people believe that reading involves knowing the letters of 
the alphabet, how to put them together to read words, and how to 
string words together to read sentences. But sometimes these skills 
can be developed and yet the child cannot read. For reading is 
essentially the process of getting meaning from the printed word. 
A child may recognize all the words but may not understand what 
she reads. So the real aim of pre-reading is to show that meaning 
can be derived from what is read, and to enjoy the process. 

Children have to be prepared to read with understanding. To a 
three-year- old for instance, the word "cat" may mean a fuzzy 


Readiness for th e 3 R's 151 


purring creature or a frightening beast. Suddenly he has to learn 
that some marks on the paper which look like this, "cat", also 
means a cat. Letters and words are symbols and not concrete 
things. Before being confronted with the letters of alphabet, 
children must be able to deal with abstract symbols. 

Activities like sorting, matching, classifying, understanding 
relationships, perceiving patterns and problem solving described 
in earlier chapters help the child to achieve the mental maturity 
needed to relate symbols to sounds and meaning. 

Children also need to have fine visual and auditory discrimination, 
and be able to recognise minute differences in shapes size, and in 
sounds. While these skills too need some maturity, they can be 
developed by practice. 

Another important factor in learning to read with meaning is 
mastery over the spoken language. Children who have a good 
vocabulary, and express themselves freely and clearly, are likely 
to be better readers. Again, children who are familiar with books, 
and to whom stories have been read from books are more curious 
about the printed word and more likely to understand that printed 
words hold meaning and can be a source of fun. 

Therefore, the most significant ways to promote reading are: 

• Provide a rich background of stimulating experiences and 
activities 

• Develop children's speech and vocabulary 

• Create the desire to read in children 

• Give practice in visual, aural, and oral discrimination 

Pre-writing 

Readiness for writing can be seen in the child's ability to hold a 
pencil correctly with the fingers and manipulate it to make the 
fine movements needed to write. This too is related to maturity, 
but can be developed by pre-writing tasks, or readiness activities 
for writing. Here are some excercises that provide practice in pre- 
writing skills: (Box: 7). 



1 52 Play Activities for Child Development 

Box : 7 


Colouring pictures with large crayons 

Colouring or tracing or drawing within lines 

Cutting paper with a pair of scissors 

Threading beads on a needle or string 

Stacking small wooden blocks one on top of the other 

Fitting constructional toys together 

Finger tracing in the air, then on a sand tray, or slate 

Throwing and catching a balloon, a ball, a beanbag or a 
rubber ring 

Air tracing with the whole arm, then the wrist and the 
pointed index finger while the elbow is firmly placed on the 
table. 

Scribbling from left to right 


Pre-numeracy 

Readiness for arithmetic is shown in the level of understanding 
of concepts related to quantity, volume, space, time etc and in 
logical thinking in children, which is derived from their 
mathematical discoveries. At the age of two or three, children 
know that one block on top of another makes two. They know 
that if they add one more, they will have three, even though they 
may not know the words two or three. When children lift up 
objects, they experience lightness or heaviness. When a child 
cuddles up in mother's lap, he/she can feel how small he/she is in 
relation to his/her mother's size. With each of these experiences, 
children encounter and discover mathematical concepts. 

Work and play in different areas extend and support children's 
understanding and provide opportunities to clear up confusions 
about mathematical concepts. 

• Block building introduces size relationships, number, quantity, 
and three dimensionality 

• Dancing allows children to explore and understand space 
through their bodies. 







Readiness for die 3 R's 1 53 


• Collage and construction activities provide experiences in 
sorting and classifying. 

• Clean up time provides opportunities for comparing, sorting, 
counting, and arranging. 

• Distributing plates, cups flowers, crayons or pencils to other 
children teacher one-to-one correspondence, or counting. 

These and other concrete experiences are critical in helping 
children acquire mathematical concepts and vocabulary. 

Ordering, sorting, classifying, sequencing, seriating and 
experiencing one to one correspondence help lay the foundation 
for mathematical concepts. 

To the Teacher 

In all the earlier chapters, you would have come across a number 
of readiness activities which foster academic learning. Look back 
and see how many activities you can find which are helpful as 
pre-reading, pre-writing or pre-numeracy skills. You can build 
on them and make them suited to the needs of children at different 
stages of development. Here are a few more, which introduce 
children to reading, writing and arithmetic. 


154 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity 

One child is made the banker 
who keeps all the coins in a 
box. Children take turn in 
throwing the dice. They 
collect from the 'banker' as 
many coins as the number 
shown in the dice. After four, 
five rounds each child adds 
up his/her coins. The child 
who has the highest number 
of coins gets a turn to become 
the next banker. 

Preparation 

To make coins, cut the card 
into small circles of the size of 
a rupee coin, and cover with 
silver paper. 

To make dice, see Appendix. 



Activity No. 1 

Objective 
To learn to count 
To learn to add 
Group size 
Medium 
Material 
Thick card. 

Silver paper. 

Dice 2 



Readiness for the 3 R's 155 


Activity No. 2 

Objective 

To learn number names 
To count 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Chart paper, sketch pens, 
safety pins. 

Old greeting cards. 

Preparation 

To make number badges, cut 
out cards 6 cms. x 3 cms, one 
card per child. Number the 
badges with numbers from 
one to ten. 


Activity 

Pin a number badge each on 
to the children, and make 
them stand in a circle. You 
stand in the centre and dap. 

If you dap three times the 
child with the number three 
badge must sit down. 

Continue the game till all the 
children sit down. 

Variation I 

Call out a number and the 
children with that number 
badge should clap that many 
times, e.g. you call out 6 and 
the children with number 6 
badges clap 6 times. 

Variation II 

Instead of number badges, 
colled old greeting cards and 
paste a number inside each 
card. Give each child a card 
and play the game of clapping 
numbers. Children have to 
open their cards to find their 
number and this adds to the 
mystery and fun. 


156 Play Activities for Child Development 



Activity No. 3 

Objective 

To learn to count. 

To play the game as a team. 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Small objects such as counters, 
beads, seeds, stones, small 
blocks, number cards. 

Preparation 

Nil. 

Attention 

To avoid pushing and pulling, 
by the children, the counters 
could be put in three or four 
piles in three or four places in 
the room. 


Activity 

Divide the children into two or 
three teams. Place a pile of 
counters in different comers of 
the room. Call out a number. 
One child from each team must 
run to the pile of counters and 
pick the stated number of 
counters and run to you. e.g. if 
three is called out the child has 
to pick only three counters. 
Continue till all the team 
members have had a chance. 

Variation I 

Ask children to stand in a line. 
Give a number card to each 
child and ask each child to 
bring the number of counters 
that is on the card. Let them 
place it on the ground for the 
other children to check. 

Variation II 



The first variation could also be 
played as a race. All the 
children run together to pick 
the number of counters you. 
have asked. The children must 
bring the correct number of 
counters and place it on the 
floor for you to check. 


o 

o 


o 

o 


THE NUMBER 

• * * u at ' * a • 


Readiness for the 3 R's \ 57 



Activity No. 4 

Objective 

To learn to count and add. 

To follow instructions. 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Two dice cubes 

Preparation 

To make dice see Appendix. 


Activity 

Let the children stand or sit in 
a circle. You stand in the 
center and throw the two dice. 
The children add the numbers. 
Then let any one child do an 
action as many times as the 
number shown on the two 
dice. e.g. jump, skip, hop, 
clap, count, wave hands. If the 
dice show 3 and 5, the child 
must do the action eight 
times. 

Variation I 

Divide the children into small 
groups of 5 or 6 and give each 
group a dice. All the groups 
stand at one end of the room. 
The leader of each team 
throws the dice. His/her team 
has to take as many steps as 
seen on the dice. They 
continue with the game till 
one of the teams wins. 

Variation II 

Let children stand in a line at 
one end of the room. A child 
throws the dice. All the 
children must take that many 
steps forward. Continue till all 
are across the room. 

Variation III 

To play in pairs, each pair will 
need a dice. One child throws 
the dice while the other takes 
the steps. 


WHERE SHALL I STAND? 


1 58 Play Activities for ChiJd Development 






Activity No. 5 

Objective 

To learn ordinal positions 
To follow rules and directions 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Number cards one to ten 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Group all the children at one 
end of the room. Call out ten 
children at a time. Give these 
ten children the number cards 
1 to 10. Let them move 
around freely. When you clap 
your hands or blow a whistle 
the children should form a 
line in a sequential order like 
the child with number one 
card stands first then the child 
with number two behind the 
first child and so on. The 
children show up their 
numbers and the rest of the 
children must check to see if 
they are standing in the 
correct order. Now make 
these children sit down and 
give a chance to another 
group of ten children. 

Variation 

This game could be played as 
a team game. Form teams of 
ten. Give each team ten 
number cards, let the children 
run around freely and when 
you blow the whistle each 
team must reassemble in a line 
from one to ten. Let each 
team check the other teams to 
see if the children are 
standing in the correct ordinal 
positions. 


10 


Activity No. 6 
Objective 
To count 

To learn number names 

To match names and numerals 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Dice 

Chalk. 

Preparation 

Draw a racetrack and mark 
large square divisions on the 
floor or the play ground. 

Attention 

As all children must get turns 
it is advisable not to have 
more than 20 squares. 


Readiness for the 3 R's 1 59 

Activity 

Make all the children sit near 
the diagram drawn on the 
floor. Let three children play 
at a time, while the others 
watch. Each child throws the 
dice in turn and goes forward 
as many places as the dice 
shows. When all the three 
children have made the first 
move, repeat the round again. 
The child who reaches the end 
square first is the winner. 
Continue the game till all the 
three children finish the track. 
Then the next three children 
take their turn. 

Variation 

This game can also be played 
on a Judo board with counters 
and dice. 



160 Play Activities for Child Development 




Activity No. 7 

Objective 

To learn to do simple addition 
and subtraction sums. 

To be alert and quick 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Number cards 1-9. Cards with 
simple addition and 
subtraction sums on them. 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

Children should have 
sufficient practice with the 
mathematical skills. Give 
enough time for the children 
to work out the sums. 


Activity 

Divide the class into two 
groups. Each one has a 
partner in the other group. 
Give all the children a number 
card face down. Make two 
groups stand at opposite ends 
of the room. When you clap 
your hands, the partners will 
run to each other, and 
together they will add the two 
numbers on their cards e.g. 
child A has number 2 and the 
partner number 3 so 2+3=5. 
They then run back to you 
with the answer. When all the 
children have completed let 
the children check each other's 
answers. This can also be 
played with domino cards. 

Variation 

This game can also be played 
as a team game. Divide the 
children into two or three 
teams, and make them stand 
in rows. When you blow the 
whistle, the first child in each 
team will run to you at the 
other end of the room. Give 
each one a simple addition or 
subtraction sum to solve. 

As soon as it has been solved 
correctly, the child runs back 
to the team. Then the next 
child in the line has to run 
forward to solve a sum. In this 
manner let all the children in 
each of the teams get turns at 
solving the sums. 


Readiness for the 3 R's 16 



Activity No. 8 

Objective 

To understand the concept of 
time 

To recognise the use of 
numbers in a calendar 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Chart paper, sketch pens 

Preparation 

Prepare a chart for each 
month of a calender or if 
possible get a calender which 
has large numbers. 


Activity 

Display the calendar in the 
class for all the children to see 
clearly. Help children read the 
day and the date. Mark all 
important events and days of 
the month as they come. 

You could mark birthdays, 
festivals, school events etc. 
Discuss with the children the 
important days and count to 
see the number of days left to 
the event. Mark off each day 
when the day is over. 

Variation I 

Discuss the associations of 
each day, e.g. Saturdays and 
Sundays are holidays. 

Variation II 

The calendar could be used to 
register the seasons e.g. on a 
sunny day, a picture or a 
symbol of the sun could be 
drawn on the date, and on a 
rainy day, rain drops could be 
drawn in that space. 


MEASUREMENT 


1 62 Play Activities for Child Development 





Activity No. 9 

Objective 

To understand the concept of 
measuring 

To determine measurements 
by number of steps 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Measuring tape, pencil and 
paper 

Preparation 

Nil. 



Activity 

Make children walk across the 
playground and count the 
number of steps it takes to 
walk from one end to the 
other end of the field. Do the 
same across the courtyard, 
verandah and room. Discuss 
with the children, asking 
questions like, which side is 
longer? Which side is shorter? 
How do you know? 

Variation 

For older children you could 
use a measuring tape and 
measure in meters. Make 
them calculate the distances 
e.g. The distance around the 
play field. The distance to the 
class room from the library, 
play ground etc. 



POSTING SHAPES 


Rea diness for the 3 R's 1 63 





Activity No. 10 

Objective 

To understand the 
relationship between various 
shapes and sizes. 

To learn the name of shapes 

To recognise similarities and 
differences 

Group size 

Small 

Material 

Shoe box and thick card board 
Preparation 

Take a shoebox and cut out 
the shapes of a circle, square 
and triangle on the cover. 
Make many small cut outs of 
squares, triangles and 
rectangles using the 
cardboard. 


Activity 

Seat children on the ground 
and distribute the shape cut 
outs to them. Give them the 
shoebox 'posting box' and let 
children post the shapes into 
the correct cut outs into the 
box. Let children take turns 
and check each other's 
posting. After the shapes are 
over they could be taken out 
of the box and the game can 
start again. 

Variation I 

Let children look around the 
room for objects with different 
shapes. Let them trace around 
these shapes and cut them out 
e.g. a square block or a circle- 
plate. Display on the bulletin 
board with labels and a 
caption "shapes all around the 
room" 

Variation II 

Make children bring objects 
from home of different 
shapes. Each child must 
"show and tell" about his 
shape and then place in a box 
which could be used for 
sorting by colour, shape, size 
or use. 




1 54 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 11 

Objective 

To recognise the names of the 
letters 

To associate the letter with the 
sound 

To learn the words and their 
initial sounds 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Card board boxes (shoeboxes), 
chart paper, pictures, sketch 
pens. 

Preparation 

Make 6 post boxes with the 
shoeboxes. On each box write 
4 to 5 letters. Collect pictures 
or draw pictures. Mount on 
chart paper cut into post card 
size. Write the name of the 
picture clearly. Make at least 
one card for each child in the 
class and words for all the 
letters of the alphabet. 

Attention 

Choose only words with their 
initial letter making the same 
sound as the letter to be used 
in the game. This game can be 
played in any language. 


Activity 

Distribute the cards to the 
children. Let each child first 
stand up show her card and 
identify the picture, read the 
word and also make the 
sound of the initial letter. 

Now let them post their cards 
into the box with the same 
letter. 

Variation I 

This game can be played as a 
team game. Divide the class 
into small groups. Place all the 
picture cards on the table. 

Let one child from each team 
come to the table, pick up a 
card and take it to her group. 
The groups together read the 
card and decide into which 
box the card should be posted. 
Then the child posts the card. 
In this manner let all the 
children get turns to pick and 
post the cards. 

Variation II 

Choose a low table, or shelf. 
Select a letter and together 
with the children collect 
objects whose name start with 
that letter. This activity can be 
spread over a week. Label all 
the objects. For the next week, 
clear the table and start with 
another letter. 



Readiness for the 3 R's 155 



Activity No. 12 

Objective 

To observe differences and 
similarities in shapes of 
numbers and letters 

To prepare to read and write 

Group size 

Large 

Materials 

Blackboard, chalk, paper and 
pencils 

Preparation 

Draw 6 small squares on the 
blackboard. Draw the same 
shape in five squares and in 
the 6 th square draw a different 
shape. Do the same for the 
activity on letters or numbers. 
Write the same letter in five 
squares and in one write the 
same letter either upside 
down or in reverse. Also 
prepare worksheets of the 
same activity for each child. 



Activity 

Call one child at a time to 
come to the black board and 
find the shape which is drawn 
wrong. When the child spots 
the mistake, she can draw a 
circle around the different one 
and also draw the correct form 
on the black board. Let the 
other children say whether it 
is right or wrong. Now draw 
another shape and call the 
next child to come. Give turns 
to all the children. The same 
activity could be done with 
numbers or letters. 

Variation I 

Give individual worksheets to 
all the children, and crayons/ 
pencils. Ask children to circle 
the wrong ones and correct 
them. 

Variation II 

Give each child a piece of 
print, either a newspaper or a 
book. Write a letter on the 
board. Ask the children to 
look for the letter in their 
paper and put up their hands 
as soon as they find one. Give 
time for all the children to 
find the letter. Make the 
children write the letter in 
their notebooks. 


1 66 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 13 

Objective 

To recognise written form of 
names 

To learn to help each other 
To recognise letters 

Group size 

Medium 

Material 

Chart paper and sketch pens 

Preparation 

Write the names of all the 
children on chart paper, fairly 
large, so as to be seen from 
far. Then cut out into 
individual names. Hide them 
around the room. Have 
another set ready with 
individual letters of the names 
cut out. 

Attention 

Children should be able to 
read and write their names. 


Activity 

Give instructions to the 
children to look around the 
room to find their name cards 
hidden in different parts of 
the room. Let children take 
turns and do this one by one, 
while the other children help 
the child find his/her name. 
Let all the children find their 
names. These could be pasted 
on a chart and displayed in 
the class. 

Variation 

Hide the individual letters of 
the children's names around 
the room. Let children find 
the letters and make their own 
names. 



PICTURE WORD MATCHING 


Readiness for the 3 R's 167 


Activity No. 14 

Objective 

To associate pictures with 
words 

To recognise the letters of the 
alphabet and their sounds 

To stimulate thinking 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Picture cards, word cards and 
letter cards to match each 
picture. See Appendix 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention. 

This game can be played in 
any language. 


Activity 

Make children sit in a 
semicircle. Shuffle the picture 
cards and word cards. Place 
about six cards on the floor in 
front of the children. Call out 
a child to come and pick one 
picture and match it with its 
word card and place them 
together. The rest of the 
children have to check if it is 
correct. In this manner give a 
chance to each child. After six 
children have completed, the 
cards could be reshuffled or 
more cards could be added. 
Give all the children a chance 
to match. 

Variation 

The same game can be played 
with the words and the 
beginning letters, eg. one 
card has 'bat' and the other 
card 'b'. 



1 68 Play Activities for Child Development 


Activity No. 15 

Objective 

To stimulate imagination and 
creativity 

To motivate to read 
Group size 
Medium 
Material 

Drawing paper and crayons 

Preparation 

Nil 

Attention 

The main aim of this activity 
is to make children use their 
imagination and creativity, so 
the sentences framed by the 
children should be 
reproduced without any 
changes. 


Activity 

This activity is to prepare a 
classroom newspaper. Call out 
children one by one to relate 
something that happened to 
them at home or in school. 
When all the children have 
had their turn to talk, give 
each of them paper and 
crayons. Ask them to draw a 
picture of what they had 
spoken about. Then go 
around to each child and ask 
her to explain what she has 
drawn. You can write this out 
at the base of the drawing in 
clear handwriting. These 
drawings can be displayed in 
the class. After a few days the 
pictures can be collected and 
stapled together to make a 
book which can be kept in the 
library comer. The next week 
another set of pictures can be 
prepared. In this way, a little 
library of children's 'own' 
books can be prepared. 

Variation 

For older children who have 
learnt to write, let them write 
their own story which can be 
displayed in the class. 



Readiness for the 3 R's 169 


Activity No. 16 

Objective 

To read the words with 
comprehension 

Group size 

Large 

Material 

Small cards and sketch pens. 

Preparation 

Cut out small cards about 5 x 
10 cms. On each card write an 
action word like sing, laugh, 
sit, stand, jump, eat, cry, drink 
and bend. Use a stick picture 
to illustrate each card. 


Activity 

Seat children in a semi-circle. 
Show each card to the 
children and explain the 
action. Shuffle the cards and 
place in the centre. Each child 
takes a turn, comes and picks 
a card, reads the word and 
does the action. Help the child 
who finds it difficult to read. 
Children will love to pretend 
that they are reading.